What is new in research on schizophrenia?
In this Research Roundup, we explore new studies on schizophrenia and its connections with neurocognition, suicidal ideation, insomnia, and impaired language abilities in various patient populations.
Age-Related Differences in Neurocognition and Suicidal Ideation Among Patients With Schizophrenia
This cross-sectional study aimed to investigate the relationship between neurocognition and suicidal ideation in middle-aged and elderly patients with schizophrenia. The study found that middle-aged and elderly patients with schizophrenia who had good visuospatial ability and attention function were more likely to experience suicidal ideation. However, no correlation between neurocognition and suicidal ideation was observed in young patients with schizophrenia.
“We should devote additional concern on the middle-aged and elderly [patients with schizophrenia] with good neurocognition,” the investigators concluded. “An effective and new intervention focusing on distracting attention from the disease to reduce the occurrence of suicidal ideation should be formulated. Further cohort studies are warranted to detect the relationship between neurocognition and suicidal ideation across age groups.”
Wang Q, Tang W, Zhang J, et al. Visuospatial ability and attention as risk factors for suicidal ideation in middle-aged and elderly schizophrenia patients: a cross-sectional study. BMC Psychiatry. 2023;23(1):765.
Connections Between Olanzapine and Age, Sex, and Smoking Cigarettes in Patients With Schizophrenia
This study aimed to investigate the association between smoking cigarettes, age, sex, and serum concentrations of olanzapine in patients with schizophrenia. The findings revealed that smokers had significantly lower serum olanzapine concentrations than non-smokers, potentially leading to subtherapeutic effects. However, the study did not find significant differences in olanzapine concentrations related to the age or sex of the patients.
“This study proved that smoking is associated with lower serum olanzapine concentrations,” the investigators concluded. “No significant differences were found in olanzapine serum concentrations with regard to age and sex in patients with schizophrenia.”
Horvat M, Kadija M, Ščavničar A, et al. Association of smoking cigarettes, age, and sex with serum concentrations of olanzapine in patients with schizophrenia. Biochem Med (Zagreb). 2023;33(3):030702.
Investigating the Link Between Insomnia and Impaired Language Abilities in Patients With Schizophrenia
This study investigated the link between insomnia symptoms and language abilities in patients with schizophrenia. It revealed that individuals with schizophrenia experiencing insomnia exhibit reduced performance on the verbal fluency test (VFT), suggesting a connection between insomnia and impaired language skills. These findings imply that addressing insomnia in patients with schizophrenia could enhance cognitive function and quality of life, although the study’s limitations, such as the influence of sleep-improving drugs, should be considered.
“There is a significant difference in language ability between schizophrenia patients with insomnia and those without insomnia symptoms,” the investigators concluded. “This suggests that schizophrenia patients with insomnia have a greater probability of language ability disorder.”
Linlin W, Ruofei J, Hudan C, et al. Correlation analysis between insomnia symptoms and language function in patients with schizophrenia. Schizophr Res Cogn. 2023;34:100292.
Note: Assistance from ChatGPT was used in the preparation of this research roundup.
Let us hear from you! Want to share your insights with colleagues on the latest research on schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, and other psychiatric disorders and issues? Write to us at PTEditor@mmhgroup.com.