ABSTRACT: Antipsychotic drugs are thought to produce secondary negative symptoms, which can also exacerbate primary negative symptoms. In the present study, we examined whether motivational deficits in particular were related to antipsychotic treatment in patients with schizophrenia in a dose-dependent manner. Five hundred and twenty individuals with schizophrenia who were receiving antipsychotic monotherapy for at least 6 months and followed prospectively were included in the present study. Participants were receiving one of five antipsychotic medications (olanzapine, perphenazine, quetiapine, risperidone, or ziprasidone), and analyses were conducted for patients receiving each drug separately. Analysis of covariance models were constructed to examine the effect of antipsychotic dose on level of motivational impairment, controlling for selected demographic and clinical variables (eg, positive symptoms). Level of motivation, or deficits therein, were evaluated using a derived measure from the Quality of Life Scale, and in addition with scores derived from the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale. Antipsychotic dose was not related to the level of amotivation for any of the medications examined. Moreover, severity of sedation was not significantly related to the degree of amotivation. One hundred and twenty-one individuals were identified as antipsychotic-free at baseline, and after 6 months of antipsychotic treatment, no change in motivation was found. Chronic treatment with antipsychotics does not necessarily impede or enhance goal-directed motivation in patients with schizophrenia. It is possible that the negative impact of antipsychotics in this regard is overstated; conversely, the present results also indicate that we must look beyond antipsychotics in our efforts to improve motivation.
Project description:Motivational deficits play a central role in disability caused by schizophrenia and constitute a major unmet therapeutic need. Negative symptoms have previously been linked to hypofunction in ventral striatum (VS), a core component of brain motivation circuitry. However, it remains unclear to what extent this relationship holds for specific negative symptoms such as amotivation, and this question has not been addressed with integrated behavioral, clinical, and imaging measures. Here, 41 individuals with schizophrenia and 37 controls performed a brief, computerized progressive ratio task (PRT) that quantifies effort exerted in pursuit of monetary reward. Clinical amotivation was assessed using the recently validated Clinical Assessment Interview for Negative Symptoms (CAINS). VS function was probed during functional magnetic resonance imaging using a monetary guessing paradigm. We found that individuals with schizophrenia had diminished motivation as measured by the PRT, which significantly and selectively related to clinical amotivation as measured by the CAINS. Critically, lower PRT motivation in schizophrenia was also dimensionally related to VS hypofunction. Our results demonstrate robust dimensional associations between behavioral amotivation, clinical amotivation, and VS hypofunction in schizophrenia. Integrating behavioral measures such as the PRT will facilitate translational efforts to identify biomarkers of amotivation and to assess response to novel therapeutic interventions.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Motivational deficits are prevalent in patients with schizophrenia, persist despite antipsychotic treatment, and predict long-term outcomes. Evidence suggests that patients with greater amotivation have smaller ventral striatum (VS) volumes. We wished to replicate this finding in a sample of older, chronically medicated patients with schizophrenia. Using structural imaging and positron emission tomography, we examined whether amotivation uniquely predicted VS volumes beyond the effects of striatal dopamine D2/3 receptor (D2/3 R) blockade by antipsychotics. METHODS:Data from 41 older schizophrenia patients (mean age: 60.2 ± 6.7; 11 female) were reanalysed from previously published imaging data. We constructed multivariate linear stepwise regression models with VS volumes as the dependent variable and various sociodemographic and clinical variables as the initial predictors: age, gender, total brain volume, and antipsychotic striatal D2/3 R occupancy. Amotivation was included as a subsequent step to determine any unique relationships with VS volumes beyond the contribution of the covariates. In a reduced sample (n = 36), general cognition was also included as a covariate. RESULTS:Amotivation uniquely explained 8% and 6% of the variance in right and left VS volumes, respectively (right: ? = -.38, t = -2.48, P = .01; left: ? = -.31, t = -2.17, P = .03). Considering cognition, amotivation levels uniquely explained 9% of the variance in right VS volumes (? = -.43, t = -0.26, P = .03). CONCLUSION:We replicate and extend the finding of reduced VS volumes with greater amotivation. We demonstrate this relationship uniquely beyond the potential contributions of striatal D2/3 R blockade by antipsychotics. Elucidating the structural correlates of amotivation in schizophrenia may help develop treatments for this presently irremediable deficit.
Project description:RATIONALE:Several pre-clinical studies suggest that antipsychotic medications cause secondary negative symptoms. However, direct evidence for a relationship among antipsychotic medications, their direct effects on neurotransmitter systems, and negative symptoms in schizophrenia remains controversial. OBJECTIVE:The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between antipsychotic-related dopamine D2/3 receptor occupancy and negative symptoms in patients with schizophrenia. METHODS:Forty-one clinically stable outpatients with schizophrenia participated in this prospective dose reduction positron emission tomography (PET) study. Clinical assessments and [11C]-raclopride PET scans were performed before and after participants underwent gradual dose reduction of their antipsychotic medication by up to 40 % from the baseline dose. RESULTS:No significant relationship was found between antipsychotic-related dopamine D2/3 receptor occupancy and negative symptom severity at baseline or follow-up. Similar null findings were found for subdomains of negative symptoms (amotivation and diminished expression). Occupancy was significantly lower following dose reduction; however, negative symptom severity did not change significantly, though a trend toward reduction was noted. Examination of change scores between these two variables revealed no systematic relationship. CONCLUSIONS:Our cross-sectional and longitudinal results failed to find a significant dose-dependent relationship between severity of negative symptoms and antipsychotic-related dopaminergic antagonism in schizophrenia. These findings argue against the notion that antipsychotics necessarily cause secondary negative symptoms. Our results are also in contrast with the behavioral effects of dopaminergic antagonism routinely reported in pre-clinical investigations, suggesting that the role of this variable in the context of chronic treatment and schizophrenia needs to be re-examined.
Project description:Schizophrenia is characterized by deficits of context processing, thought to be related to dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) impairment. Despite emerging evidence suggesting a crucial role of the DLPFC in integrating reward and goal information, we do not know whether individuals with schizophrenia can represent and integrate reward-related context information to modulate cognitive control. To address this question, 36 individuals with schizophrenia (n = 29) or schizoaffective disorder (n = 7) and 27 healthy controls performed a variant of a response conflict task (Padmala & Pessoa, 2011) during fMRI scanning, in both baseline and reward conditions, with monetary incentives on some reward trials. We used a mixed state-item design that allowed us to examine both sustained and transient reward effects on cognitive control. Different from predictions about impaired DLPFC function in schizophrenia, we found an intact pattern of increased sustained DLPFC activity during reward versus baseline blocks in individuals with schizophrenia at a group level but blunted sustained activations in the putamen. Contrary to our predictions, individuals with schizophrenia showed blunted cue-related activations in several regions of the basal ganglia responding to reward-predicting cues. Importantly, as predicted, individual differences in anhedonia/amotivation symptoms severity were significantly associated with reduced sustained DLPFC activation in the same region that showed overall increased activity as a function of reward. These results suggest that individual differences in motivational impairments in schizophrenia may be related to dysfunction of the DLPFC and striatum in motivationally salient situations.
Project description:Schizophrenia is associated with amotivation and reduced goal-directed behavior, which have been linked to poor functional outcomes. Motivational deficits in schizophrenia are often measured using effort-based decision-making (EBDM) paradigms, revealing consistent alterations in effort expenditure relative to controls. Although these results have generally been interpreted in terms of decreased motivation, the ability to use trial-by-trial changes in reward magnitude or probability of receipt to guide effort allocation may also be affected by cognitive deficits. To date, it remains unclear whether altered performance in EBDM primarily reflects deficits in motivation, cognitive functioning, or both. We applied a newly developed computational modeling approach to the analysis of EBDM data from two previously collected samples comprising 153 patients and 105 controls to determine the extent to which individuals did or did not use available information about reward and probability to guide effort allocation. Half of the participants with schizophrenia failed to incorporate information about reward and probability when making effort-expenditure decisions. The subset of patients who exhibited difficulties using reward and probability information were characterized by greater impairments across measures of cognitive functioning. Interestingly, even within the subset of patients who successfully used reward and probability information to guide effort expenditure, higher levels of negative symptoms related to motivation and avolition were associated with greater effort aversion during the task. Taken together, these data suggest that prior reports of aberrant EBDM in schizophrenia patients are related to both cognitive function and individual differences in negative symptoms. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
Project description:Negative symptoms in schizophrenia have been associated with structural and functional changes in the prefrontal cortex. They often persist after treatment with antipsychotic medication which targets, in particular, the ventral striatum (VS). As schizophrenia has been suggested to arise from dysfunctional connectivity between neural networks, it is possible that residual aberrant striato-cortical connectivity in medicated patients plays a role in enduring negative symptomology. The present study examined the relationship between striato-cortical connectivity and negative symptoms in medicated schizophrenia patients.We manipulated motivation in a perceptual decision-making task during functional magnetic resonance imaging. Comparing healthy controls (n = 21) and medicated patients with schizophrenia (n = 18) we investigated how motivation-mediated changes in VS activation affected functional connectivity with the frontal cortex, and how changes in connectivity strength from the neutral to motivated condition related to negative symptom severity.A pattern of aberrant striato-cortical connectivity was observed in the presence of intact VS, but altered left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) motivation-mediated activation in patients. The more severe the patient's negative symptoms, the less the connectivity strength between the right VS and left IFG changed from the neutral to the motivated condition. Despite aberrant striato-cortical connectivity and altered recruitment of the left IFG among patients, both patients and healthy controls adopted a more liberal response strategy in the motivated compared to the neutral condition.The present findings suggest that there is a link between dysfunctional striato-cortical connectivity and negative symptom severity, and offer a possible explanation as to why negative symptoms persist after treatment with antipsychotics.
Project description:Schizophrenia is the eighth leading cause of disability worldwide in people aged 15-44 years. Before antidopaminergic antipsychotics were introduced in the 1950s, no effective medications existed for the treatment of schizophrenia. This review summarizes key meta-analytic findings regarding antipsychotic efficacy in the acute treatment of schizophrenia, including clozapine in treatment-resistant patients. In the most comprehensive meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials conducted in multi-episode schizophrenia, antipsychotics outperformed placebo regarding total symptoms, positive symptoms, negative symptoms, depressive symptoms, quality of life and social functioning. Amongst these outcomes, the standardized mean difference for overall symptoms was largest, that is, 0.47 (95% credible interval = 0.42-0.51), approaching a medium effect size, being reduced to 0.38 when publication bias and small-trial effects were accounted for. A comparison of two meta-analyses indicated that first-episode patients, compared with multi-episode patients, were more likely to have at least minimal treatment response [?20% Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS)/Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) score reduction: 81% versus 51%] and good response (?50% PANSS/BPRS score reduction: 52% versus 23%). In multi-episode schizophrenia, no response or worsening after 2 weeks of a therapeutic antipsychotic dose was highly predictive of not achieving a good response at endpoint (median treatment = 6 weeks: specificity = 86%; positive predictive value = 90%), suggesting a change in treatment should be considered in such cases. In first-episode psychosis, adequately dosed antipsychotic treatment trials for more than 2 weeks are recommended before using no response or worsening as a decision point for aborting a given antipsychotic. In clearly defined treatment-resistant schizophrenia, clozapine generally outperformed other antipsychotics, especially when dosed appropriately (target = 3-6 months' duration; trough clozapine level ?350-400 ?g/L) with a response rate (?20% PANSS/BPRS) of 33% by 3 months of treatment. High antipsychotic doses and psychotropic combinations are unlikely to be superior to standard doses of antipsychotic monotherapy. Acute antipsychotic efficacy in schizophrenia depends on the targeted symptom domain (greater efficacy: total and positive symptoms, lesser efficacy: negative symptoms, depressive symptoms, social functioning and quality of life). Greater antipsychotic efficacy is associated with higher total baseline symptom severity, treatment-naïveté/first-episode status, shorter illness duration, and trials that are nonindustry sponsored and that have a lower placebo effect. The heterogeneity of antipsychotic response across individuals and key symptom domains, the considerable degree of nonresponse/treatment resistance in multi-episode patients, and the adverse effect potential of antipsychotics are major limitations, underscoring the need to develop new medications for the treatment of schizophrenia. Drug development should include matching patient subgroups, which are identified by means of clinical and biomarker variables, to mechanisms of action of novel medications, targeting specific symptom domains, and investigating mechanisms of action other than dopaminergic blockade.
Project description:Few psychosocial approaches address the negative symptoms of schizophrenia, which shares common features with depression and anxiety. Behavioral activation (BA) is effective for addressing depression and anxiety in adults with various mental disorders. Motivational interviewing (MI) has been successfully applied to address ambivalence or lack of motivation toward treatment. Motivational and behavioral activation (mBA) has been developed by incorporating the core principles from BA and MI with recent findings on the negative symptoms of schizophrenia. In this study, we aimed to examine the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of mBA in a non-randomized controlled pilot study that included individuals with schizophrenia with mild to moderate negative symptoms receiving psychiatric rehabilitation. A total of 73 individuals with schizophrenia were recruited. Forty-seven of the participants who met the study inclusion and exclusion criteria were assigned to either an mBA + usual psychiatric rehabilitation group (mBA) or a usual psychiatric rehabilitation only group (treatment as usual, TAU). Administering mBA to individuals with schizophrenia with mild to moderate negative symptoms was feasible in a community mental health setting. Relative to TAU, mBA was associated with large effects in reducing negative symptoms measured using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) and the Brief Negative Symptom Scale (BNSS). However, after considering PANSS cognitive deficits and marital status as covariates due to significant differences in their baseline levels, the treatment effects on the BNSS were partially observed. In addition, participants in the mBA group showed improved verbal learning and memory compared with those in the TAU group. In individuals with schizophrenia receiving the usual forms of psychiatric rehabilitation in a community mental health setting, mBA appears to offer a promising adjunctive approach for addressing mild to moderate negative symptoms. Further investigations are needed to replicate the current findings in a randomized controlled trial.
Project description:Effort-based decision making has strong conceptual links to the motivational disturbances that define a key subdomain of negative symptoms. However, the extent to which effort-based decision-making performance relates to negative symptoms, and other clinical and functionally important variables has yet to be systematically investigated. In 94 clinically stable outpatients with schizophrenia, we examined the external validity of 5 effort-based paradigms, including the Effort Expenditure for Rewards, Balloon Effort, Grip Strength Effort, Deck Choice Effort, and Perceptual Effort tasks. These tasks covered 3 types of effort: physical, cognitive, and perceptual. Correlations between effort related performance and 6 classes of variables were examined, including: (1) negative symptoms, (2) clinically rated motivation and community role functioning, (3) self-reported motivational traits, (4) neurocognition, (5) other psychiatric symptoms and clinical/demographic characteristics, and (6) subjective valuation of monetary rewards. Effort paradigms showed small to medium relationships to clinical ratings of negative symptoms, motivation, and functioning, with the pattern more consistent for some measures than others. They also showed small to medium relations with neurocognitive functioning, but were generally unrelated to other psychiatric symptoms, self-reported traits, antipsychotic medications, side effects, and subjective valuation of money. There were relatively strong interrelationships among the effort measures. In conjunction with findings from a companion psychometric article, all the paradigms warrant further consideration and development, and 2 show the strongest potential for clinical trial use at this juncture.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Since the introduction of antipsychotics, especially the so called atypicals, the treatment of schizophrenia has shown important improvements. At the present time, it is preferred to label clozapine and other antipsychotics sharing similar profiles as second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs). These medications have been proposed by some experts as a first line treatment for schizophrenia. It is critical to have reliable data about antipsychotic prescription in Mexico and to create management guidelines based on expert meetings and not only on studies carried out by the pharmaceutical industry. Only this approach will help to make the right decisions for the treatment of schizophrenia. METHODS: A translated version of Rabinowitz's survey was used to evaluate antipsychotic prescription preferences and patterns in Mexican psychiatrists. The survey questionnaire was sent by mail to 200 psychiatrists from public institutions and private practice in Mexico City and Guadalajara, Mexico. RESULTS: Recommendations for antipsychotics daily doses at different stages of the treatment of schizophrenia varied widely. Haloperidol was considered as the first choice for the treatment of positive symptoms. On the contrary, risperidone was the first option for negative symptoms. For a patient with a high susceptibility for developing extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS), risperidone was the first choice. It was also considered that SGAs had advantages over typical antipsychotics in the management of negative symptoms, cognitive impairment and fewer EPS.Besides, there was a clear tendency for prescribing typical antipsychotics at higher doses than recommended and inadequate doses for the atypical ones. CONCLUSIONS: Some of the obstacles for the prescription of SGAs include their high cost, deficient knowledge about their indications and dosage, the perception of their being less efficient for the treatment of positive symptoms and the resistance of some Mexican physicians to change their prescription pattern. It is necessary to reach a consensus, in order to establish and standardize the treatment of schizophrenia, based on the information reported in clinical trials and prevailing economic conditions in Mexico.