First-episode schizophrenia. A window of opportunity for optimizing care and outcomes.
ABSTRACT The pernicious course of schizophrenia has spurred efforts to identify and effectively treat this condition as early as possible. This assertive therapeutic stance is supported by epidemiologic data suggesting a substantial time lag between onset of illness and therapeutic intervention, and by neurobiologic data suggesting that brain changes present in first-episode psychosis are comparable to those in chronic schizophrenia. The proposal that atypical antipsychotic medications may prevent illness deterioration and/or be a restorative intervention is an appealing, but as yet unproven, hypothesis. Major challenges to maximizing treatment outcomes in first-episode schizophrenia include optimizing timing and effectiveness of pharmacologic interventions, service coordination, and access to care. We present data on the onset and presentation of first-episode schizophrenia and emerging findings about the neurobiology of first episodes, review nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic management, and summarize clinical research data on use of atypical antipsychotics in first-episode patients.
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ABSTRACT: To systematically review studies measuring peripheric brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels on first-episode psychosis patients and variables related to them. A systematic search was made of articles published in the Medline database from 2002 up to June 2014. Included are original studies that report enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay measurement of BDNF levels in serum or plasma in patients with a diagnosis of first episode psychosis (FEP) and age- and gender- matched healthy controls. Of the initially identified 147 articles, only 18 satisfied the inclusion criteria. Of this, 15 found a significant reduction in patients with FEP compared with age- and gender - matched controls. Peripheral BDNF levels are generally reduced in FEP patients. There are some factors that may influence BDNF levels that need to be further studied. Furthermore, a future meta-analysis in this topic is needed.04/2015; 5(1):154-159. DOI:10.5498/wjp.v5.i1.154
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ABSTRACT: Sex-related differences in the clinical expression and outcome of schizophrenia have long been recognized; this study set out to evaluate whether they extend to those subjects who are at high risk of developing psychosis. In a sample enrolled in two early intervention programs in northern Italy, patients with first-episode psychosis (FEP; n=152) were compared to patients at ultra-high risk of psychosis (UHR; n=106) on a series of sex-related clinical characteristics of schizophrenia. In both the FEP and the UHR samples, males outnumbered females. In FEP patients, women had been referred at an older age than men and had a shorter duration of untreated illness (DUI) and of untreated psychosis. In UHR patients no sex differences were found in age of onset or DUI. There was no diagnosis by sex interaction on symptoms severity or level of functioning at presentation. The limited number of women in both samples, and the exclusion of people who were older than 30 and of those with substance dependence may have reduced the extent of sex-related differences in this study. Sex differences of precipitating factors for psychosis might be worthy of further investigation.02/2014; 215(2):314–322. DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2013.11.023
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ABSTRACT: Alterations in the inflammatory and immune systems have been documented to occur from the earliest stages of schizophrenia, and have been associated with neurodevelopmental changes. Cognitive impairment is a core feature in the pathology of schizophrenia, and recent studies showed a significant increase in serum IL-18 in schizophrenia, and a putative role of IL-18 in neuroprogression and thus neurocognitive defects. The purpose of this study was to examine the association of IL-18 with cognitive deficits in schizophrenia. We recruited 77 first episode and drug naïve schizophrenic patients and 75 healthy control subjects and examined the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS) and serum IL-18 in both groups. Schizophrenic symptoms were assessed using the positive and negative syndrome scale (PANSS). We found that IL-18 levels were non-significantly higher in patients than controls (206.0±92.9pg/ml vs 193.2±41.8pg/ml, p=0.28). Cognitive scores on the RBANS and nearly all of its five subscales (all p<0.05) except for the Visuospatial/Constructional index (p>0.05) were significantly lower in schizophrenic patients than normal controls. For the patients, IL-18 was positively associated with the Visuospatial/Constructional domain of cognitive deficits in schizophrenia. Our findings suggest that cognitive deficits occur during the acute stage of a schizophrenic episode, and IL-18 may be involved in Visuospatial/Constructional deficits of these patients.Brain Behavior and Immunity 03/2013; 32. DOI:10.1016/j.bbi.2013.03.001 · 6.13 Impact Factor