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.
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.
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.