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Multidimensional predictors of negative symptoms in antipsychotic-naive first-episode psychosis.

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Toll, Alba 
Blanco-Hinojo, Laura 
Duran, Xavier 
Canosa, Irene 


BACKGROUND: Despite a large body of schizophrenia research, we still have no reliable predictors to guide treatment from illness onset. The present study aimed to identify baseline clinical or neurobiological factors - including peripheral brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels and amygdala or hippocampal relative volumes - that could predict negative symptomatology and persistent negative symptoms in first-episode psychosis after 1 year of follow-up. METHODS: We recruited 50 drug-naive patients with first-episode psychosis and 50 age- and sex-matched healthy controls to study brain volumes. We performed univariate and multiple and logistic regression analyses to determine the association between baseline clinical and neurobiological variables, score on the PANSS negative subscale and persistent negative symptoms after 1 year of follow-up. RESULTS: Low baseline serum BDNF levels (p = 0.011), decreased left amygdala relative volume (p = 0.001) and more severe negative symptomatology (p = 0.021) predicted the severity of negative symptoms at 1 year, as measured by the PANSS negative subscale. Low baseline serum BDNF levels (p = 0.012) and decreased left amygdala relative volume (p = 0.010) predicted persistent negative symptoms at 1 year. LIMITATIONS: We were unable to assess negative symptoms and their dimensions with next-generation scales, which were not available when the study was initiated. CONCLUSION: This study shows that a set of variables at baseline, including low BDNF levels, smaller left amygdala relative volume and score on the PANSS negative subscale are significant predictors of outcomes in first-episode psychosis. These findings might offer an initial step for tailoring treatments in first-episode psychosis.



Antipsychotic Agents, Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, Hippocampus, Humans, Psychotic Disorders, Schizophrenia

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J Psychiatry Neurosci

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CMA Impact Inc.