Can antidepressants be used to treat the schizophrenia prodrome? Results of a prospective, naturalistic treatment study of adolescents.
ABSTRACT This study reports the results of a prospective, naturalistic treatment study of adolescents considered to be in the prodromal (i.e., prepsychotic) phase of schizophrenia.
Forty-eight adolescents (mean age = 15.8 years) participating in the initial phase of the Recognition and Prevention (RAP) program (1998-2005) were included in the current report. Individuals were selected from the overall sample (N = 152) if they had: (1) displayed attenuated positive symptoms, (2) been treated pharmacologically for at least 8 weeks, and (3) been followed up for at least 6 months (mean follow-up = 30.5 months).
Two types of medication were naturalistically prescribed: antidepressants (N = 20) or second-generation antipsychotics (N = 28), with polypharmacy common. The 2 treatment groups did not differ in baseline symptom profiles, with the exception of disorganized thinking, which was more severe in second-generation antipsychotic-treated adolescents. Twelve of the 48 adolescents (25%) developed a psychotic disorder, with all converters having been prescribed second-generation antipsychotics. There were no conversions among antidepressant-treated adolescents (log-rank chi(2) = 7.36, df = 1, p = .007). Treatment outcome, however, was confounded, since 11 of the 12 converters were nonadherent. Adolescents, in general, were more likely to be nonadherent to second-generation antipsychotics (61%, 17/28) than to antidepressants (20%, 4/20; chi(2) = 7.86, p = .005). Improvement in 3 of 5 positive symptoms over time was significant (p < .001) and similar for both medications. Disorganized thought, however, did not improve regardless of treatment.
Nonrandom assignment limits comparisons between antidepressants and anti-psychotics in this study. However, with follow-up, a number of adolescents meeting criteria for prodromal schizophrenia were successfully treated with antidepressants. At present, a substantial number of false positives among the antidepressant-treated subgroup cannot be ruled out. However, the findings suggest that, in some cases, it might be preferable to begin treatment with antidepressants and progress to antipsychotics once symptoms intensify, since adherence to the latter is difficult to maintain.
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ABSTRACT: Individuals with at-risk mental state for psychosis (ARMS) often suffer from depressive and anxiety symptoms, which are clinically similar to the negative symptomatology described for psychosis. Thus, many ARMS individuals are already being treated with antidepressant medication.04/2015; 22. DOI:10.1016/j.nicl.2015.04.016
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ABSTRACT: criterion (HRNeg). The HR+ subjects were significantly more impaired in their social and occupational functioning than their HR− peers (subjects not at HR). The cumulative 1-year transition risk of psychosis of the HR+ group was 26.7 %. When the HRNeg group was added, the 1-year transition risk was 17.3 %. We suggest that administration of the CAARMS to children and adolescents with putative prodro-mal psychosis is feasible and that this assessment can easily be integrated into existing Italian neuropsychiatry services although clinicians should interpret results with caution as results in this age group still have to be replicated.European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 04/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00787-015-0710-8 · 3.55 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Introduction. To date, few studies have focused on the characterization of clinical phenomenology regarding gender in population at high-risk of psychosis. This paper is an attempt to summarize the findings found in the scientific literature regarding gender differences in high-risk populations, taking into account parameters studied in populations with schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, such as incidence, clinical expression, duration of untreated illness (DUI), social functioning, and cognitive impairment prior to full-blown psychosis development. Method. Studies were systematically searched in PubMed. Studies using gender variable as a control variable were excluded. 12 studies met inclusion criteria. Results. Most of the studies found a differential pattern between women and men as regards clinical, social, and cognitive variables in the prodromal phase, with worse performance in men except in cognitive functioning (more severe negative symptoms, worse social functioning, and longer DUI in men). Similar conversion rates over time were found between men and women. Conclusions. Many of the studies analyzed suggest that differences between men and women in the expression of psychosis extend across a continuum, from the subclinical forms of illness to the debut of psychosis. However, the small number of studies and their significant methodological and clinical limitations do not allow for firm conclusions.