Psychotic symptoms in the general population - an evolutionary perspective

The British journal of psychiatry: the journal of mental science (Impact Factor: 6.62). 09/2010; 197(3):167-9. DOI: 10.1192/bjp.bp.109.076018
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Our ideas about the intrinsically pathological nature of hallucinations and delusions are being challenged by findings from epidemiology, neuroimaging and clinical research. Population-based studies using both self-report and interview surveys show that the prevalence of psychotic symptoms is far greater than had been previously considered, prompting us to re-evaluate these psychotic symptoms and their meaning in an evolutionary context. This non-clinical phenotype may hold the key to understanding the persistence of psychosis in the population. From a neuroscientific point of view, detailed investigation of the non-clinical psychosis phenotype should provide novel leads for research into the aetiology, nosology and treatment of psychosis.

  • International Forum of Psychoanalysis 11/2013; DOI:10.1080/0803706X.2013.778422
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    ABSTRACT: Psychotic experiences occur at a much greater prevalence in the population than psychotic disorders. There has been little research to date, however, on genetic risk for this extended psychosis phenotype. We examined whether COMT or BDNF genotypes were associated with psychotic experiences or interacted with childhood trauma in predicting psychotic experiences. Psychiatric interviews and genotyping for COMT-Val158Met and BDNF-Val66Met were carried out on two population-based samples of 237 individuals aged 11-15 years. Logistic regression was used to examine for main effects by genotype and childhood trauma, controlling for important covariates. This was then compared to a model with a term for interaction between genotype and childhood trauma. Where a possible interaction was detected, this was further explored in stratified analyses. While childhood trauma showed a borderline association with psychotic experiences, COMT-Val158Met and BDNF-Val66Met genotypes were not directly associated with psychotic experiences in the population. Testing for gene x environment interaction was borderline significant in the case of COMT-Val158Met with individuals with the COMT-Val158Met Val-Val genotype, who had been exposed to childhood trauma borderline significantly more likely to report psychotic experiences than those with Val-Met or Met-Met genotypes. There was no similar interaction by BDNF-Val66Met genotype. The COMT-Val158Met Val-Val genotype may be a genetic moderator of risk for psychotic experiences in individuals exposed to childhood traumatic experiences.
    PLoS ONE 11/2013; 8(11):e79741. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0079741 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Jung was highly committed to grasping the meaning of psychotic thinking, and left behind precious insights to treatment scattered through his works written between 1906 and 1958. The tendency of today's psychiatry is to attribute the psychotic process to alteration in the brain's anatomy, biochemistry and electrophysiology, thus exempting the subject, i.e. the afflicted person, from responsibility for attachment to reality and their sanity. Jung understood schizophrenia as an 'abaissement du niveau mental', a similar phenomenon to the one encountered in dreams, and caused by a peculiar 'faiblesse de la volonté'. He contested that complexes in schizophrenia, in contrast with neurotic disorders, are disconnected and can either never reintegrate to the psychic totality or can only join together in remission 'like a mirror broke into splinters' (Jung , para. 507). Accordingly, a person who does not fight for the supremacy of ego consciousness and has let themself be swayed by the intrusion of alien contents arising from the unconscious (even to the point of becoming fascinated by regression) is exposed to the danger of schizophrenia. The contemporary relevance of these notions and their necessity in understanding the psychotic process in the light of modern scientific findings are discussed.
    The Journal of analytical psychology 04/2014; 59(2):229-44. DOI:10.1111/1468-5922.12071 · 0.80 Impact Factor

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