[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aims. The introduction of second generation antipsychotic (SGA) medication over a decade ago led to changes in prescribing practices; these drugs have eclipsed their predecessors as treatments for schizophrenia. However, the metabolic side effects of these newer antipsychotics have been marked and there are increasing concerns as to whether these novel drugs really are superior to their predecessors in terms of the balance between risks and benefits. In this article, we review the literature regarding comparisons between first generation antipsychotic (FGA) and SGA in terms of clinical effectiveness. Methods. Large (n > 150) randomized-controlled trials (RCTs) comparing the effectiveness (efficacy and side effects) of FGA and SGA medications other than clozapine were reviewed, as were meta-analyses that included smaller studies. Results. The superiority in efficacy and reduced extrapyramidal side effects (EPSE) of SGAs is modest, especially when compared with low-dose FGAs. However, the high risk of weight gain and other metabolic disturbances associated with certain SGAs such as olanzapine is markedly higher than the risk with FGAs at the doses used in the trials. Conclusions. The efficacy profiles of various FGAs and SGAs are relatively similar, but their side effects vary between and within classes. Overall, large pragmatic trials of clinical effectiveness indicate that the care used in prescribing and managing drug treatments to ensure tolerability may be more important than the class of drug used.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Emotional impairments are important determinants of functional outcome in psychosis, and current treatments are not particularly effective. Modafinil is a wake-promoting drug that has been shown to improve emotion discrimination in healthy individuals and attention and executive function in schizophrenia. We aimed to establish whether modafinil might have a role in the adjuvant treatment of emotional impairments in the first episode of psychosis, when therapeutic endeavor is arguably most vital.
Forty patients with a first episode of psychosis participated in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover design study testing the effects of a single dose of 200 mg modafinil on neuropsychological performance. Emotional functions were evaluated with the emotional face recognition test, the affective go-no go task, and the reward and punishment learning test. Visual analogue scales were used throughout the study to assess subjective mood changes.
Modafinil significantly improved the recognition of sad facial expressions (z = 2.98, p = .003). In contrast, there was no effect of modafinil on subjective mood ratings, on tasks measuring emotional sensitivity to reward or punishment, or on interference of emotional valence on cognitive function, as measured by the affective go-no go task.
Modafinil improves the analysis of emotional face expressions. This might enhance social function in people with a first episode of psychosis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Early Intervention in Psychosis Services (EIS) for young people in England experiencing first-episode psychosis (FEP) were commissioned in 2002, based on an expected incidence of 15 cases per 100 000 person-years, as reported by schizophrenia epidemiology in highly urban settings. Unconfirmed reports from EIS thereafter have suggested higher than anticipated rates. The aim of this study was to compare the observed with the expected incidence and delineate the clinical epidemiology of FEP using epidemiologically complete data from the CAMEO EIS, over a 6-year period in Cambridgeshire, for a mixed rural-urban population.
A population-based study of FEP (ICD-10, F10-39) in people aged 17-35 years referred between 2002 and 2007; the denominator was estimated from mid-year census statistics. Sociodemographic variation was explored by Poisson regression. Crude and directly standardized rates (for age, sex and ethnicity) were compared with pre-EIS rates from two major epidemiological FEP studies conducted in urban English settings.
A total of 285 cases met FEP diagnoses in CAMEO, yielding a crude incidence of 50 per 100 000 person-years [95% confidence interval (CI) 44.5-56.2]. Age- and sex-adjusted rates were raised for people from black ethnic groups compared with the white British [incidence rate ratio (IRR) 2.1, 95% CI 1.1-3.8]. Rates in our EIS were comparable with pre-EIS rates observed in more urban areas after age, sex and ethnicity standardization.
Our findings suggest that the incidence observed in EIS is far higher than originally anticipated and is comparable to rates observed in more urban settings prior to the advent of EIS. Sociodemographic variation due to ethnicity and other factors extend beyond urban populations. Our results have implications for psychosis aetiology and service planning.
Psychological Medicine 12/2010; 41(5):949-58. DOI:10.1017/S0033291710002461 · 5.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abnormalities in reinforcement learning and reversal learning have been reported in psychosis, possibly secondary to subcortical dopamine abnormalities.
We studied simple discrimination (SD) learning and reversal learning in a sample of 119 first-episode psychosis patients from the Cambridge early psychosis service (CAMEO) and 107 control participants. We used data on reinforcement learning and reversal learning extracted from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery Intradimensional-Extradimensional shift task, which measures cognitive flexibility but also involves simple reinforcement learning (SD learning) and reversal learning stages. We also gathered diagnostic information to examine whether there were any differences between patients ultimately diagnosed with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders and those diagnosed with affective psychosis.
Psychosis patients demonstrated deficits in simple reinforcement learning (SD learning) and in reversal learning, with no differences between affective psychosis and schizophrenia-spectrum psychosis. There was a significant modest correlation between reversal errors and negative symptoms (Spearman rho = 0.3, P = .02).
There are reinforcement learning abnormalities in first-episode psychosis, which correlate with negative symptoms, suggesting a possible role for orbitofrontal cortex and ventral striatal pathology in the pathogenesis of motivational deficits in psychosis.