Schizophrenia is a chronic disease of the body and mind that affects 1% of the population. About one-fifth to one-third of all patients with schizophrenia do not respond adequately to drug treatment and that have been consistent over time. Definitions of this group have long been hampered by a lack of consistency with confusion with chronicity. Clozapine has shown superior efficacy and this has been replicated consistently.
Because of the high prevalence, importance, and inconsistency of schizophrenia resistance, the current study aimed to (a) examine the differences between resistant and nonresistant schizophrenic groups in chronic long-stay patients, (b) study the clinical profile of the clozapine-resistant group in comparison with others, and finally (c) determine the predictors of resistant schizophrenia.
This was a retrospective and cross-sectional study of 95 patients with chronic schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, admitted in long-stay hospital wards at the Psychological Medicine Hospital (Kuwait). They were interviewed by Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV and diagnosed according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Illness, 4th ed. criteria. Patients were assessed by the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS), Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), Clinical Global Impression Severity (CGIS) scale, and Mini-Mental State Examination. Sociodemographics, clinical characteristics, and the history of treatment were determined. Schizophrenia resistance was formulated according to modified Kane’s criteria, which include the following: BPRS score of at least 45; two or more of positive symptoms score of at least 4 (suspiciousness, hallucinatory behavior, conceptual disorganization, and unusual thoughts); CGIS score of at least 4 (moderate to extremely ill); previous failure on two antipsychotic trials of different categories of the full therapeutic range (≥1000 mg of chlorpromazine equivalent) and for at least 3–6 months’ duration; and finally, no preceding good function for at least 2.5 years in the last 5 years.
Thirty-six patients fulfilled the criteria of schizophrenia resistance (37.8%). There was a significant shift in the drug regimen prescribed, with the prescription of more atypical antipsychotics, especially clozapine, with repeated failure of previous drug trials. The only significant difference between the resistant and the nonresistant group was in the psychopathological severity, indicated by higher scores on PANSS, and CGIS scores. Age younger than 40 years and early onset age of schizophrenia (<20 years) were powerful predictors for schizophrenia resistance; other sociodemographic and clinical characteristics lacked significant predictive value.
Younger age and early-onset schizophrenia are considered poor prognostic factors. Early aggressive management of schizophrenia may help eliminate chronicity as well as resistance. Research on the biological predisposition for schizophrenia resistance including the clozapine resistance group is required.
The aim of the current study was to assess the relation between working memory dysfunction and clinical and MRI findings in relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis.
This study was conducted on 50 patients with clinically definite relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis, they were recruited from the Outpatient Clinic of Alexandria University Hospitals; and 25 healthy controls matched for age, sex, and educational level. All participants were subjected to neuropsychological assessment that included: digit span, visual span, N-nack task, and Wisconsin card sorting test. The patient group was further subjected to: Expanded disability status scale (EDSS) and brain MRI.
Clinically, the present study found no statistically significant correlations between working memory dysfunction and age, age at onset, sex, number of relapses, affected functional system, or EDSS status. Alternatively, there were statistically significant positive correlations between working memory dysfunction and the duration of illness.
This study suggests that according to the resources utilized by cognitive tasks, working memory tasks may be classified into high-demanding working memory tasks (2-back task and WCST) and low-demanding working memory tasks (1-back task and digit and visual span), and in relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis working memory dysfunction includes mainly high-demanding working memory tasks.
Executive function (EF) develops throughout childhood and adolescence. Up to half of youth with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) show executive dysfunction. Reading disability has a comorbidity with ADHD of 20–40%. Adequate reading comprehension depends on higher cognitive skills beyond word decoding.
The aim of this study was to investigate EFs and reading abilities in a group of primary school children with ADHD [intelligence quotient (IQ)≥85] and whether they differ with sex.
A total of 30 Egyptian boys and 30 girls aged 8–12 years diagnosed with ADHD were compared with 40 healthy matched controls in terms of clinical assessment of reading skills, comorbidites, IQ, ADHD symptoms using Conners’ Parent Rating Scale-Revised-Long version (CPRS-R-L), EFs using the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), and metacognitive reading using the Metacognitive Reading Comprehension Scale.
In total, 50% of ADHD cases showed the combined type, 31.7% the predominantly inattentive, and 18.3% the predominantly hyperactive type, with a significant gender difference (P=0.007). Patients had significantly higher scores in all CPRS-R-L scales, except for the anxious–shy subscale. Boys had higher means in the ‘hyperactivity’, whereas girls had higher means in the ‘cognitive problems/inattention’ scale. Male and female patients did not differ in comorbid learning disabilities but differed in conduct disorder and depression. Patients scored significantly lower on all WCST indices, except the first trials (P<0.001). Girls with ADHD made more errors, P=0.050, and completed less number of categories than boys, P=0.024. EF did not correlate with the hyperactivity subscale of CPRS-R-L. It correlated with the cognitive problems/inattention subscale in male and female patients. The Metacognitive Reading Comprehension scores differed significantly between the children with ADHD and the controls (P<0.001). None of the WCST indices predicted the Metacognitive Reading Comprehension total score. The total score was predicted only by the CPRS-R-L N scale (DSM-IV total), but not by its other subscales, IQ scales, sex, or age.
Children with ADHD have lower EF and reading abilities than controls. Executive dysfunction is related to inattention and not to hyperactivity. No robust differences in EF can be attributed solely to sex. Reading and metacognitive reading dysfunctions showed no gender difference.
In many western countries, deinstitutionalization of chronically mentally ill patients was established after the mass introduction of neuroleptics in the late 1960s and the early 1970s. Deinstitutionalization was proven to be successful when there were strong ideological or humanitarian motives and when psychiatric reform was a priority and was completed with a comprehensive system of community. However, its long-term effects should be examined and questioned in terms of improving quality of life and functional abilities.
The research aimed at studying the morbidity profile and impact of schizophrenia on chronic institutionalized mentally ill patients as baseline data for planning of deinstitutionalization and a Community care program.
Data on sociodemographics, course of illness, treatment history, rate of admission, duration of hospital stay, and medical condition were collected retrospectively, followed by a cross-sectional study of a total of 95 patients with a schizophrenia spectrum using psychopathological rating scales such as PANSS, MMSE, CGI-S. Diagnosis according to DSM-IV and an interview using SCID were carried out by two different psychiatrists for high inter-rater reliability. The sample was recruited from among long-stay hospital patients.
The mean age of onset of schizophrenia among the patients was 48.9±10.3 and 21.2±5.7 years. The mean duration of illness was 27.5±9.3 years, whereas the mean duration of repeated admission was 19.07±12.5 years. With respect to the median percentage of total hospital stay, 30% could be attributed to the patients’ median age and 55% to illness duration, whereas with respect to chronic hospitalization 20% could be attributed to the patients’ median age and 35% to illness duration. Of the patients, 85% were men; 70% were single and unemployed with a low socioeconomic status; 25% lacked private housing; 30% had diabetes mellitus and/or hypertension; 80% were obese and overweight; and 50% were on antilipid drugs. Delusion, hallucination, and conceptual disorganization were the highest-scoring positive symptoms in 50% of cases. Negative symptoms also scored higher (7.4) on all items in 60% of cases. Eighty percent had compromised cognitive deficits. Early age of onset of schizophrenia and being older were powerful predictors for repeated admission, a long duration of illness, and chronic hospitalizations. Severity of illness is also a powerful predictor for long hospital stay.
Schizophrenia is a chronic devastating illness that impacts function and cognitive abilities, and is characterized by a high rate of admission, chronic course of illness as well as chronic institutionalization. For continuity of care and a favorable prognosis, early comprehensive, multidisciplinary, and multimodel programs are required for patients with mental illness from the date of first hospital contact.