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1.  Duration of Untreated Psychosis Is Associated with Temporal and Occipitotemporal Gray Matter Volume Decrease in Treatment Naïve Schizophrenia 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e83679.
Long duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) is associated with poor treatment outcome. Whether or not DUP is related to brain gray matter volume abnormalities in antipsychotic medication treatment naïve schizophrenia remains unclear at this time.
Patients with treatment-naïve schizophrenia and healthy controls went through brain scan using high resolution Magnetic Resonance Imaging. DUP was evaluated using the Nottingham Onset Schedule (NOS), and dichotomized as short DUP (≤ 26 weeks) or long DUP (>26 weeks). Voxel-based methods were used for volumetric measure in the brain.
Fifty-seven patients (27 short DUP and 30 long DUP) and 30 healthy controls were included in the analysis. There were significant gray matter volumetric differences among the 3 groups in bilateral parahippocampus gyri, right superior temporal gyrus, left fusiform gyrus, left middle temporal gyrus, and right superior frontal gyrus (p's<0.01). Compared with healthy controls, the long DUP group had significantly smaller volume in all these regions (p's <0.05). Compared with the short-DUP group, the long-DUP group had significantly smaller volume in right superior temporal gyrus, left fusiform gyrus, and left middle temporal gyrus (p's<0.01).
Our findings suggest that DUP is associated with temporal and occipitotemporal gray matter volume decrease in treatment naïve schizophrenia. The brain structural changes in untreated psychosis might contribute to poor treatment response and long-term prognosis in this patient population.
PMCID: PMC3877095  PMID: 24391807
2.  The relationship between obesity and neurocognitive function in Chinese patients with schizophrenia 
BMC Psychiatry  2013;13:109.
Studies have reported that up to 60% of individuals with schizophrenia are overweight or obese. This study explored the relationship between obesity and cognitive performance in Chinese patients with schizophrenia.
Outpatients with schizophrenia aged 18–50 years were recruited from 10 study sites across China. Demographic and clinical information was collected. A neuropsychological battery including tests of attention, processing speed, learning/memory, and executive functioning was used to assess cognitive function, and these 4 individual domains were transformed into a neurocognitive composite z score. In addition, height and weight were measured to calculate body mass index (BMI). Patients were categorized into 4 groups (underweight, normal weight, overweight and obese) based on BMI cutoff values for Asian populations recommended by the World Health Organization.
A total number of 896 patients were enrolled into the study. Fifty-four percent of participants were overweight or obese. A higher BMI was significantly associated with lower scores on the Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised (WMS-R) Visual Reproduction subscale, the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised (WAIS-R) Digit Symbol subscale, and the composite z score (p’s ≤ 0.024). Obese patients with schizophrenia had significantly lower scores than normal weight patients on the Trail Making Test B, the WMS-R Visual Reproduction subscale, the WAIS Digit Symbol subscale, and the composite z score (p’s ≤ 0.004).
Our study suggests that, in addition to its well established risk for various cardiometabolic conditions, obesity is also associated with decreased cognitive function in Chinese patients with schizophrenia. Future studies should explore if weight loss and management can improve cognitive function in obese patients who suffer from schizophrenia.
PMCID: PMC3627610  PMID: 23570390
Schizophrenia; Cognitive function; Body mass index; Obesity; Overweight
3.  The impact of educational status on the clinical features of major depressive disorder among Chinese women 
Journal of Affective Disorders  2012;136(3):988-992.
Years of education are inversely related to the prevalence of major depressive disorder (MDD), but the relationship between the clinical features of MDD and educational status is poorly understood. We investigated this in 1970 Chinese women with recurrent MDD identified in a clinical setting.
Clinical and demographic features were obtained from 1970 Han Chinese women with DSM-IV major depression between 30 and 60 years of age across China. Analysis of linear, logistic and multiple logistic regression models were used to determine the association between educational level and clinical features of MDD.
Subjects with more years of education are more likely to have MDD, with an odds ratio of 1.14 for those with more than ten years. Low educational status is not associated with an increase in the number of episodes, nor with increased rates of co-morbidity with anxiety disorders. Education impacts differentially on the symptoms of depression: lower educational attainment is associated with more biological symptoms and increased suicidal ideation and plans to commit suicide.
Findings may not generalize to males or to other patient populations. Since the threshold for treatment seeking differs as a function of education there may an ascertainment bias in the sample.
The relationship between symptoms of MDD and educational status in Chinese women is unexpectedly complex. Our findings are inconsistent with the simple hypothesis from European and US reports that low levels of educational attainment increase the risk and severity of MDD.
PMCID: PMC3314924  PMID: 21824664
Major depressive disorder; Education; Socio-economic status; Symptom

Results 1-3 (3)