[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Self-evaluation plays an important role in adaptive functioning and is a process that is typically impaired in patients with schizophrenia. Underlying neural mechanisms for this dysfunction may be associated with manifested psychosis. However, the brain substrates underlying this deficit are not well known. The present study used brain blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and gray matter voxel-based morphometry to explore the functional and structural brain correlates of self-evaluation deficits in schizophrenia. Eighteen patients with schizophrenia and 17 healthy controls were recruited and asked to judge whether a set of personality-trait adjectives were appropriate for describing themselves, a familiar other, or whether the adjectives were of positive or negative valence. Patients had slower response times for negative trait attributions than controls did; responses to positive trait attributions were faster than those for negative traits among the patient group, while no differences were observed in the control group. Control subjects showed greater activation within the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (dMPFC) and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) than the patient group during the self-evaluation > semantic positivity-evaluation contrast. Patients showed greater activation mainly within the posterior cingulate gyrus (PCC) as compared to controls for the other-evaluation > semantic positivity-evaluation contrast. Furthermore, gray matter volume was reduced in the MPFC, temporal lobe, cuneus, and the dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) among the patient group when compared to controls. The present study adds to previous findings regarding self- and other-referential processing in schizophrenia, providing support for neurobiological models of self-reflection impairment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Individual-level Cognitive Remediation Therapy (CRT) has been shown to be effective for cognitive improvement and social function amelioration. Here, we aimed to test the efficacy of group-based CRT in Chinese subjects with schizophrenia. One-hundred and four inpatients were randomly assigned to either 40 sessions of small-group CRT therapy or therapeutic contact-matched Musical and Dancing Therapy (MDT). Cognitive and social functioning, as well as clinical symptoms, were evaluated over the course of treatment. Specifically, cognitive function was evaluated using a battery of cognitive measurements, clinical symptoms were evaluated using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, and social function was evaluated using the Nurse's Observation Scale for Inpatient Evaluation-30. All patients were evaluated pre- and post-treatment. Forty-four individuals in the CRT group and 46 in the MDT group completed all of the planned treatments and analyses. Cognitive functions, especially cognitive flexibility and memory, showed significant improvement in the CRT group over the course of the study. The MDT group also showed improvement in several cognitive flexibility assessments, but the degree of improvement was significantly greater in the CRT group. Several social-function factors exhibited a significant improvement in the CRT group, but not in the MDT group. Cognitive function improvement correlated positively with social function without predicting social function change. We conclude that group-based CRT is an effective and promising therapy.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Neuroscience Letters
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nicotine replacement treatment (NRT) can be efficacious for smoking cessation, but used by only a minority of smokers in China. Pharmacogenetic matching may improve treatment outcomes for NRT in subgroups of smokers. We evaluated the efficacy and safety of sublingual nicotine tablets (SNT) for smoking cessation and the association of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) genotype with efficacy in this smoking cessation trial among Chinese smokers. We conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled, 8-week trial of SNT with a follow-up at week 12 among 250 Chinese smokers. Efficacy and safety were evaluated at day 4 and weeks 2, 4, 6, 8, and 12. Abstinence was biochemically verified by exhaled carbon monoxide (CO) and urine cotinine. The COMT Val108Met genotype was determined as a restriction fragment length polymorphism. Our results showed that the success rates for complete abstinence were greater for active versus placebo treatments at 8 weeks (48 vs. 17 %) and 12 weeks (52 vs. 19 %) (both p < 0.0001). Craving was significantly reduced from week 2 on active treatment compared to placebo. Adverse events were mild and tolerable. We found a genotype by treatment interaction at 12 weeks with greater abstinence rates in the COMT Val/Val (50 vs. 15 %) than the Met/Val + Met/Met genotypes (46 vs. 25 %). We found that SNT significantly increased smoking abstinence, reduced craving and was well tolerated, and the COMT Val/Val genotype was associated with a greater improvement in smoking cessation.
No preview · Article · Jun 2012 · Journal of Neural Transmission
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective
To explore the deficits of acoustic startle reflex (ASR) that might exist in Chinese patients with schizophrenia and the effects of antipsychotics on ASR.Methods
Participants included 25 male patients with chronic schizophrenia treated with typical antipsychotics (typical group), 25 who were treated with atypical antipsychotic clozapine (clozapine group) and 25 healthy male subjects (control group) matched for age and years of education. Startle reflex to acoustic stimuli were examined in all subjects from the three groups. At the same day of startle testing, psychopathological symptoms of the patients were assessed with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS).Results(1) Startle response (SR) was significantly reduced in typical group as compared to control group [(553.6 ± 516.9) mV vs. (942.0 ± 447.3) mV, P = 0.009]. SR of clozapine group [(755.9 ± 439.4) mV] was greater than that of typical group and less than that of control group, but there was no significant difference between the clozapine group and the other two. (2) Habituation (HAB) of startle reflex in typical group was significantly lower than in control group [(17.8 ± 35.8)% vs. (44.9 ± 28.9)%, P = 0.027]. HAB of clozapine group [(22.9 ± 34.1)%] was higher than that of typical group and less than that of control group, but there was no significant difference between clozapine group and the other groups. (3) Compared with healthy controls, patients of typical group exhibited the significant reduction in prepulse inhibition (PPI) of startle reflex (P = 0.024) when prepulse interval (LI) was 120 ms. PPI of clozapine group was higher than typical group and less than control group, but no significant differences in PPI were found between clozapine group and the other groups. While LI was 30- or 120-ms, PPI among the three groups showed not significantly different (P > 0.05). (4) No significant relationship was found between PPI of different LIs and symptom scores assessed with PANSS in patients with schizophrenia (P > 0.05).Conclusion
Our findings suggest impaired PPI in Chinese patients with schizophrenia; Atypical antipsychotic clozapine might partly improve disinhibition of startle reflex in schizophrenic patients.
No preview · Article · Mar 2012 · Asian Journal of Psychiatry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mounting evidence suggest that astrocytes might be involved in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. Of particular interest is S100B, a protein produced primarily by astrocytes that plays a critical role in the maintenance of functional neuronal and astroglial activation. Abnormalities in S100B levels have been associated with schizophrenia. In this study, we examined serum S100B protein levels and the relationship between S100B levels and psychopathological symptoms in first-episode, drug-naïve patients with schizophrenia (SCZ). Sixty-four patients with schizophrenia were compared with 66 age- and sex-matched healthy controls (HCs). Psychopathology in the SCZ group was assessed by the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). Serum S100B protein levels were measured by sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The results showed that S100B protein-like immunoreactivity was significantly higher in the SCZ group than the HC group. S100B-like immunoreactivity was correlated with age, duration of illness, and PANSS subscale scores for negative and general psychopathology and total scores. In the SCZ group, serum S100B levels in residual subtypes were significantly higher than in the paranoid and disorganized subtypes. Our findings suggest an upregulation of a marker for astrocyte activity, i.e., S100B, in first-episode medication-free patients with schizophrenia, and thus support the involvement of astrocytes in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia.
Preview · Article · Feb 2010 · Schizophrenia Research