A. Mucci, ItalyUniveristy of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli Department of Psychiatry
Moderator Of 3 Sessions
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.
Proposed by the EPA section on Schizophrenia and Prevention of Mental Disorders -Psychotic disorders and particularly schizophrenia are severe mental illnesses which typically emerge during adolescence and young adulthood. This symposium will address two important components of early intervention aiming at improving functional outcomes in schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, namely timely assessment and treatment. Briefly, Prof. Mucci (Italy) will discuss functional impairment in recent-onset schizophrenia spectrum disorders, Prof. Glenthøj (Denmark) will focus on early assessment of negative symptoms and related treatment strategies. Then Prof. Thorup (Denmark) will illuminate the often neglected aspect of Family high risk populations and their value for the purpose of early intervention. Finally, Prof. Rancans (Latvia) will present a critical overview of the treatment of schizophrenia from a real world perspective.
Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders
Presenter Of 7 Presentations
S0125 - Prediction of Drop-out and Functional Impairment in Recent-onset Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders
Persistent negative symptoms are associated with worse outcome in both first-episode and chronic subjects with schizophrenia. The identification of these symptoms in recent-onset subjects is still controversial as retrospective data are often unavailable. The prospective assessment of persistence of negative symptoms might represent a valid alternative but the length of the persistence is still to be established.
The present study investigated the prevalence of negative symptoms of moderate severity, unconfounded by depression and extrapyramidal symptoms at baseline in a large cohort of patients in the early stage of a schizophrenia-spectrum disorder, recruited to the OPTiMiSE trial. Persistent unconfounded negative symptoms were assessed at 4, 10 and 22 weeks of treatment.
Symptomatic remission, attrition rate and psychosocial functioning was evaluated in subjects with short-term (4 weeks) persistent negative symptoms (PNS) and in those with negative symptoms that did not persist at follow-up and/or were confounded at baseline (N-PNS).
Negative symptoms of moderate severity were observed in 59% of subjects at baseline and were associated to worse global functioning.
PNS were observed in 7.9% of the cohort, unconfounded at both baseline and end of 4-week treatment.
PNS subjects showed lower remission and higher attrition rates at the end of all treatment phases.
Fifty-six percent of subjects completing phase 3 (clozapine treatment) had PNS, and 60% of them were non-remitters at the end of this phase.
The presence of short-term PNS during the first phases of psychosis was associated with poor clinical outcome and resistance to antipsychotic treatment, including clozapine.
S0169 - Recovery in Schizophrenia: A Network Analysis of Inter-relationships Among Disease-related Variables, Personal Resources, Context-related Factors and Real-life Functioning
Central to recovery-oriented approaches in schizophrenia are treatment integration and personalization, targeting key variables beyond symptom reduction. The Italian network for research on psychoses conducted a study demonstrating, using network analysis, the central role of community activities in bridging the effects of symptoms, cognition, functional capacity and service engagement on real-word functioning. A 4-year follow-up study was recently completed and the presentation will illustrate the findings.
Network analysis was used to test whether relationships among all variables at baseline were similar at follow-up. In addition, the network structure was compared between subjects classified as recovered or non-recovered at follow-up.
Six hundred eighteen subjects were assessed at both baseline and 4-year follow-up.
Results showed that the network structure was stable from baseline to follow-up, and the overall strength of the connections among variables did not significantly change. Functional capacity and everyday life skills were the most central variables in the network at both baseline and follow-up, while psychopathological variables were more peripheral. The network structure of non-recovered patients was similar to the one observed in the whole sample, but very different from that of recovered subjects, showing few connections among the different nodes.
These data strongly suggest that connections among symptoms/dysfunctions tend to maintain over time, contributing to poor outcome in schizophrenia.
Early treatment plans, targeting variables with high centrality, might prevent the emergence of self-reinforcing networks of symptoms and dysfunctions in people with schizophrenia.
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.