Special Issue "Hot Topics in Schizophrenia Research"

A special issue of Journal of Clinical Medicine (ISSN 2077-0383). This special issue belongs to the section "Psychiatry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Andreas Reif
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany
Interests: clinical psychiatry; mental illness; psychopathology; psychotherapeutic processes
Dr. Blazej Misiak
Website
Guest Editor
Wroclaw Medical University, Dept Genet, WROCLAW, POLAND
Interests: neuroscience; psychopathology; memory; neuroimaging; cognitive neuroscience; mental illness
Dr. Jerzy Samochowiec
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Psychiatry, Pomeranian Medical University, Szczecin, Poland

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Schizophrenia represents neurodevelopmental disorders and is ranked among most substantial causes of disability worldwide. It is characterized by multidimensional psychopathology that includes positive, negative and mood symptoms as well as cognitive impairment. The etiology of schizophrenia is even more complex with the involvement of several genetic and environmental factors. Although heritability rates of schizophrenia exceed 80% in twin studies, rare variants with large effect size estimates can be detected in the minority of patients with schizophrenia. Similarly, several environmental exposures have been associated with schizophrenia risk and include, i.e., early-life infections, obstetric complications, psychosocial stress and substance use. However, none of them is neither necessary nor sufficient for the development of schizophrenia. Antipsychotic drugs are still perceived as the main treatment of schizophrenia. Although they largely improve a severity of positive symptoms, their efficacy with respect to negative symptomatology and cognitive deficits is insufficient. Additionally, adverse metabolic effects of antipsychotics contribute to cardiovascular comorbidity that is highly prevalent in patients with schizophrenia. The aim of this special issue is to provide a forum of review papers and original studies that address hot topics related to the etiology and emerging treatments of schizophrenia-spectrum disorders.

Dr. Andreas Reif
Dr. Blazej Misiak
Dr. Jerzy Samochowiec
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Clinical Medicine is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Psychosis
  • Severe mental illness
  • Psychiatry
  • Neuropsychopharmacology
  • Antipsychotics

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
The Association between Lifestyle Choices and Schizophrenia Symptoms
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(1), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10010165 - 05 Jan 2021
Abstract
Due to poor eating habits, insufficient physical activity, and nicotine use, schizophrenia patients are at increased risk of lifestyle diseases. Factors contributing to unhealthy behaviors include lower socioeconomic status and level of education as well as social isolation. Schizophrenia manifestations such as amotivation, [...] Read more.
Due to poor eating habits, insufficient physical activity, and nicotine use, schizophrenia patients are at increased risk of lifestyle diseases. Factors contributing to unhealthy behaviors include lower socioeconomic status and level of education as well as social isolation. Schizophrenia manifestations such as amotivation, apathy, and cognitive deficits can further hinder development of proper health habits. The aim of this study was to assess the possible association between lifestyle-related choices and schizophrenia symptoms severity. This observational study enrolled 106 patients with schizophrenia (42 Males/64 Females), 18–69 years (mean: 41.89 ± 9.7 years). Mean duration of schizophrenia was 14.61 ± 9.7 years. Multiple significant correlations were found between patients’ lifestyle and their biochemical laboratory parameters (lipid profile and fasting glucose). Most importantly, a significant link emerged between presented habits and schizophrenia symptom severity. There were also significant gender differences in the intake of sweets and sweet beverages. Quite unexpectedly, a behavioral shift towards more healthy lifestyle choices was observed after completion of questionnaires on lifestyle and health habits. There are clear benefits to systematic provision of educational interventions concerning physical activity and proper eating habits to schizophrenia patients. These simple preventive measures could significantly improve both mental and physical health outcomes in schizophrenia patient populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hot Topics in Schizophrenia Research)
Open AccessArticle
Metabolic Dysregulation and Psychosocial Stress in Patients with Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders: A Case-Control Study
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(12), 3822; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9123822 - 26 Nov 2020
Abstract
Patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders have a reduced life expectancy, which is largely the consequence of a high co-occurrence of cardiovascular diseases. To date, several intrinsic and environmental factors underlying this phenomenon have been found. However, the association with psychosocial stress has not [...] Read more.
Patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders have a reduced life expectancy, which is largely the consequence of a high co-occurrence of cardiovascular diseases. To date, several intrinsic and environmental factors underlying this phenomenon have been found. However, the association with psychosocial stress has not been extensively addressed. In this study, we tested the relationship between a history of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), lifetime stressors, perceived stress and metabolic parameters in patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders and in healthy controls. The participants included 85 inpatients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders and 56 healthy controls. Serum levels of glucose, insulin, low- and high-density lipoproteins (LDL and HDL), triglycerides, total cholesterol and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) were determined. After adjustment for potential confounding factors, patients had significantly higher levels of glucose (F = 4.856, p = 0.030), triglycerides (F = 4.720, p = 0.032) and hsCRP (F = 7.499, p = 0.007) as well as significantly lower levels of HDL (F = 5.300, p = 0.023) compared to healthy controls. There were also significant effects of interactions between diagnosis and a history of ACEs on the levels of insulin (F = 4.497, p = 0.036) and homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) (F = 3.987, p = 0.048). More specifically, the levels of insulin and HOMA-IR were significantly higher in the subgroup of patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders and a positive history of ACEs compared to other subgroups of participants. No significant associations between lifetime stressors and perceived stress with metabolic parameters were found. Our findings indicate that a history of ACEs might be associated with insulin resistance in patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Therapeutic strategies targeting early-life stress should be considered with early interventions that aim to manage cardiometabolic comorbidity in patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hot Topics in Schizophrenia Research)
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Open AccessArticle
Adverse Childhood Experiences and Methylation of the FKBP5 Gene in Patients with Psychotic Disorders
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(12), 3792; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9123792 - 24 Nov 2020
Abstract
Altered methylation of the FKBP5 gene has been observed in various mental disorders and attributed to the effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). However, the level of FKBP5 methylation has not been investigated in patients with psychotic disorders. Therefore, in this study we [...] Read more.
Altered methylation of the FKBP5 gene has been observed in various mental disorders and attributed to the effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). However, the level of FKBP5 methylation has not been investigated in patients with psychotic disorders. Therefore, in this study we aimed to determine the FKBP5 methylation in patients with psychosis and controls, taking into account the effects of ACEs. Participants were 85 patients with psychotic disorders, including first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients and acutely relapsed schizophrenia (SCZ-AR) patients, as well as 56 controls. The level of four CpG sites at the FKBP5 gene was determined in the peripheral blood leukocytes using pyrosequencing. After controlling for potential confounding factors, the level of FKBP5 methylation at one out of four tested CpG sites was significantly lower in FEP patients compared to other groups of participants. Significant main effects of parental antipathy and sexual abuse on the level of FKBP5 methylation were observed at the differentially methylated CpG site. Participants reporting this category of ACEs had significantly lower levels of FKBP5 methylation at this CpG site. Lower levels of FKBP5 methylation were associated with better cognitive performance and higher functional capacity in patients with psychosis. In controls, lower methylation of FKBP5 was related to worse performance of immediate memory and language skills. Our findings suggest that hypomethylation of the FKBP5 appears at early stages of psychosis and might be associated with a history of ACEs as well as less severe clinical manifestation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hot Topics in Schizophrenia Research)
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Open AccessArticle
The Differences between Gluten Sensitivity, Intestinal Biomarkers and Immune Biomarkers in Patients with First-Episode and Chronic Schizophrenia
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(11), 3707; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9113707 - 18 Nov 2020
Abstract
Schizophrenia is a heterogeneous disorder without a fully elucidated etiology and mechanisms. One likely explanation for the development of schizophrenia is low-grade inflammation, possibly caused by processes in the gastrointestinal tract related to gluten sensitivity. The aims of this study were to: (1) [...] Read more.
Schizophrenia is a heterogeneous disorder without a fully elucidated etiology and mechanisms. One likely explanation for the development of schizophrenia is low-grade inflammation, possibly caused by processes in the gastrointestinal tract related to gluten sensitivity. The aims of this study were to: (1) compare levels of markers of gluten sensitivity, inflammation and gut permeability, and (2) determine associations between gluten sensitivity, inflammation, and intestinal permeability in patients with first-episode/chronic (FS/CS) schizophrenia and healthy individuals (HC). The total sample comprised 162 individuals (52 FS; 50 CS, and 60 HC). The examination included clinical variables, nutritional assessment, and serum concentrations of: high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), soluble CD14 (sCD14), anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae antibody (ASCA), antigliadin antibodies (AGA) IgA/IgG, antibodies against tissue transglutaminase 2 (anti-tTG) IgA, anti-deamidated gliadin peptides (anti-DGP) IgG. A significant difference between groups was found in sCD14, ASCA, hs-CRP, IL-6 and AGA IgA levels. AGA IgG/IgA levels were higher in the FS (11.54%; 30.77%) and CS (26%; 20%) groups compared to HC. The association between intestinal permeability and inflammation in the schizophrenic patients only was noted. The risk for developing schizophrenia was odds ratio (OR) = 4.35 (95% confidence interval (CI 1.23–15.39) for AGA IgA and 3.08 (95% CI 1.19–7.99) for positive AGA IgG. Inflammation and food hypersensitivity reactions initiated by increased intestinal permeability may contribute to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. The immune response to gluten in FS differs from that found in CS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hot Topics in Schizophrenia Research)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Pathophysiology and treatment of cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia
Abstract: Pervasive cognitive impairments across a wide range of domains is a core feature of schizophrenia (SZ). Cognitive dysfunction is an important determinant of long-term functional outcome in SZ and its treatment continues to represents a major challenge. Effective treatment is impeded by our limited knowledge about the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms. This review will discuss current approaches to elucidate pathophysiological mechanisms underlying cognitive dysfunction in SZ. We will outline how complementary strategies derived from basic research and cognitive neuroscience can pave the way to the development of innovative pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments based on neuromodulatory, neuroprotective and neuroplastic mechanisms.

Title: Systematic review of receptor binding properties of novel antipsychotics (lumateperone, cariprazine, lurazidone, brexpiprazole) - clinically oriented comparison

Title: A systematic review of the relationships between cognitive biases related to psychosis and its risk states: in what direction should go future studies

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