Welcome to the EPA 2021 Interactive Programme
The viewing of sessions and E-Posters cannot be accessed from this conference calendar. All sessions and E-Posters are accessible via the Main Lobby in the virtual platform.
The congress will officially run on Central European Summer Time (CEST)
To convert the congress times to your local time Click Here
Fully Live with Live Q&A On Demand with Live Q&A ECP Session Section Session EPA Course (Pre-Registration Required) Product Theatre
Sessions with Voting Ask the Expert Live TV
Proposed by the EPA Section on Schizophrenia -Apathy as a negative symptom of schizophrenia is conceptualized in terms of reduction of goal directed behavior due to a lack of interest and motivation for goal-directed behavior initiation and persistence. The revised diagnostic criteria for apathy (DCA) have been proposed for trans-diagnostic use to better identify apathy across a number of neuropsychiatric disorders. The Section workshop aims to illustrate and discuss the overlap and specificity of apathy in schizophrenia with the trans-diagnostic construct identified by using the DCA. A European study on apathy in schizophrenia will be illustrated and preliminary findings reviewed to highlight the limitations of apathy as defined by the DCA in the context of schizophrenia. The relationships of apathy defined using DCA with the negative symptom domain of Avolition in schizophrenia and its overlap with functional impairment due to cognitive deficits/ depression/ extrapyramidal side effects will be discussed. Data in first-episode patients with schizophrenia will be reviewed to illustrate how the negative symptom domains and cognitive impairment are key factors in the prediction of long-term impairment in real-life functioning. Finally, the therapeutic perspectives for the treatment of apathy in schizophrenia, both when primary to the disorder process or secondary to other dimensions of schizophrenia will be reviewed and discussed.
W0019 - Apathy in Schizophrenia: Assessment in Clinical Settings and Overlap with Other Dimensions of Impairment
Negative symptoms are considered a core feature of schizophrenia. They are present since the prodromal phase and tend to persist more than other psychopathological dimensions in the chronic stages. The domain of apathy has attracted research efforts for the strong association with poor functional outcome. This negative symptom domain is observed in a number of neuropsychiatric disorders and might have both overlapping and distinct pathophysiological mechanisms.
In schizophrenia it can be secondary to other aspects of the disorder, such as positive symptoms and depression, to drug side effects and/or social isolation, often observed in affected subjects.
When primary to schizophrenia, apathy is conceptualized in terms of a reduction of the voluntary activity due to a lack of interest and motivation for goal-directed behavior initiation and persistence. In a percentage of subjects, apathy tend to persist and do not respond to available pharmacological and psychosocial treatments.
The assessment of this domain in patients with schizophrenia using internationally recognized criteria for its definition, as were recently developed in other neuropsychiatric disorders, might help disentangle the different pathophysiological mechanisms.
In the presentation, studies of apathy in schizophrenia will be illustrated to highlight the relationships with cognitive dysfunction, other psychopathological dimensions and functional outcome using state of the art instruments to assess the construct in schizophrenia.
W0020 - Apathy and Cognitive Impairment in First-episode Psychosis: Association with Functional Outcome
W0021 - Is Apathy a True Trans-diagnostic Construct? Preliminary Findings of the European Study on Apathy in Schizophrenia
Apathy is a quantitive reduction of goal-directed activity either in behavioural, cognitive, emotional or social dimension in comparison to the person’s previous level of functioning in these areas. Apathy is prevalent across many neurodegenerative, neurological, and psychiatric disorders. It represents the most common behavioural and psychological symptom in people with Alzheimer’s Disease and is often observed in Parkinson’s disease, vascular dementia, stroke, traumatic brain injury, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease, frontotemporal dementia, progressive supranuclear palsy, major depression, and schizophrenia. However, the definition and terminology employed to refer to apathy can vary in the context of different conditions and specialities and the diagnostic criteria have evolved. Additionally, the term apathy is employed to describe both a symptom and a syndrome. Indeed, little progress has been achieved in assessing the validity of the same construct across different disorders (eg. neurodegenerative disorders, schizophrenia or affective disorders).
In 2018, a new version of the diagnostic criteria for apathy (DCA) in neuropsychiatric disorders was published. The validity of this new consensus has yet to be assessed among all relevant populations, including schizophrenia. Six European centres (Naples, Geneve, Nice, Rennes, Barcelona, Cambridge) aimed to test the prevalence of apathy, measured with the 2018 DCA, in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia. As a second aim, we focused on the relationship between DCA and other measures of apathy and negative symptoms in schizophrenia (BNSS and PANSS).
In this talk, we will compare the preliminary findings of this pan-European study in schizophrenia patients with previous studies on neurodegenerative disorders.
W0022 - Apathy in Patients with Schizophrenia: Treatment Perspectives
Apathy occurs in many neuropsychiatric disorders and is a central negative symptom of schizophrenia. Apathy has severe functional consequences for patients with schizophrenia and the development of evidence-based treatments is a major challenge.
There is now increasing evidence that dysfunctions in reward processing underly apathy, in particular regarding reward anticipation, cost-benefit computation and reward learning. In addition, metacognitive processes such as defeatist performance beliefs modulate reward processing. Psychological interventions for negative symptoms target these processes. While the evidence for cognitive-behavioral therapy for negative symptoms remains limited, recent findings suggest that specifically targeting reward-related dysfunctions may improve efficacy of these interventions.
On the neurobiological level, there is now considerable evidence that a dysregulation of the dopaminergic reward system is related to reward processing dysfunctions. Regarding pharmacological treatment approaches, psychostimulants have successfully been used for apathy in dementia to target the reward system. Pro-dopaminergic drugs to target apathy in schizophrenia seem to be safer than anticipated, but their efficacy remains to be established.
At the current state of knowledge, there is no evidence-based treatment that specifically targets apathy in patients with schizophrenia today. However, there are encouraging results from research inspired by basic research in neuroscience and clinical research in patients with other neuropsychiatric disorders.