In a seven-year follow-up study indices of the course of schizophrenic disorders treatment (relapses and re-hospitalizations) were compared in two groups of 40 patients each, receiving either "community-based" (experimental group) or "individual" treatment (controls). More favorable indices were obtained in the group of patients receiving community-based care. (ed.)
A study of eye movements was carried out using the Ober II apparatus in 16 schizophrenia patients in the period of acute symptoms and in 16 healthy controls matched for age and sex. In schizophrenic patients the number of catch-up saccades was found to be significantly higher, being on the average from 5 to 10 times more frequent than that in healthy controls. Moreover, the number of rapid catch-up saccades was also significantly higher, i.e. on the average 15 to 20 times more frequent than in the control group. As compared to healthy controls, schizophrenic patients had also significantly inferior bilateral eye co-ordination. Obtained results suggest that eye movement disorders in schizophrenia patients may serve as a neurophysiological index of brain function impairment due to the schizophrenic process.
In 35 schizophrenic patients with acute symptoms prior to pharmacotherapy and in 20 controls serum concentration of the following 5 acute phase proteins was estimated: C reactive protein (CRP), alpha-1-acid glycoprotein (AGP), alpha-1-antichymotrypsin (ACT), celluroplasmin (Cp), and haptoglobin (Hp), as well as concentrations of interleukin-6 (IL-6), soluble IL-6 receptor (sIL-6R), for interleukin-2 (sIL-2R), and interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RA). In the patients under study as compared to the control group, concentrations of AGP, HP, IL-6, sIL-6R, sIL-2R and IL-1RA were found to be significantly higher. Schizophrenic patients had significantly lower values of the AGP glycosylation coefficient (AGP-RC). Obtained results indicate a chronic activation of the immunological system in patients suffering from schizophrenia.
The aim of the study was to evaluate the subjective quality of life in chronic schizophrenia patients, using the "Jakość życia – Badanie nad dostępnością dóbr i usług" (Quality of Life – Studies on the Availability of Goods and Services) questionnaire. Schizophrenia patients expressed their dissatisfaction with their emotional life, sense of freedom and responsibility, life in general, as well as with their family relations. The patients admitted they had difficulty with claiming their rights, decision-making, arranging their daily schedule, and asking for help. However, in the group under study neither the general level of the patients' functioning, nor their psychopathological symptoms severity were related to subjective evaluation of their quality of life.
On the grounds of the literature and her own experience the author discusses the importance of psychoeducational interventions for increasing schizophrenic patients' compliance with pharmacological treatment (and thus, for improvement of therapy outcome). Moreover, research findings are cited indicating a higher effectiveness of structured behavioral training as compared to non-structured educational sessions. (ed.)
Main findings concerning the frequency of psychopathological patterns occurrence, course and treatment of schizophrenic disorders in the developmental age are presented by the author. (ed.)
Basic concepts and studies concerning interpersonal problem solving skills in schizophrenic patients are reviewed in the paper. Presented studies deal not only with the diagnosis of cognitive deficits in these patients, but also with their resulting social impairment and with methods of the impaired functions rehabilitation.
Particular theoretical approaches to causes and treatment of mental disorders, as well as their effect on the shape of psychoeducational programs are outlined. Implications of the biomedical, psychosocial, and biopsychosocial paradigms for the choice of both the type of educational program and of therapeutic intervention are briefly discussed. Various models and examples of psychoeducational programs based on particular theoretical approaches are presented. The necessity is emphasized of matching psychoeducational strategies and techniques not only to staffing and technical resources available, but also to the needs of therapy participants. The author points out the importance of psychoeducation in the prevention of mental disorders and, in a broad sense, in social rehabilitation of people with mental disorders.
Mutual interactions between language pathology and clinical picture of schizophrenia are discussed. Language (and its pathology) seem to be a "window" through which schizophrenic pathology can be "seen ". Three levels are distinguished in schizophasia, representing pathology of utterance, sentence, and a word. Findings of linguistic studies of texts produced by schizophrenic patients are discussed on the level of syntactic, lexical, and discursive analysis.
Recent research findings concerning the pathogenesis of schizophrenia are presented, with a special emphasis on hypotheses dealing with impairment of dopamine and serotonin neurotransmission in the CNS, as well as with the effect of various factors affecting development of the brain. In this context the role of novel drugs in the treatment of schizophrenia is discussed. (ed.)
Pharmacological properties of novel neuroleptics (antipsychotics) with the so-called atypical spectrum, and premises underlying their clinical application are presented in the paper. (ed.)
The role of neuroleptics in the prevention of relapses in schizophrenia is discussed, with special emphasis on novel, atypical neuroleptics. Various concepts of atypicality of neuroleptics are outlined; their action, including also serotonin receptors, produces different clinical effects that may be of importance in the treatment of schizophrenia relapses.
The importance of accurate clinical diagnosis of schizophrenic psychoses is emphasized by the author. The overemphasized role of the mechanisms underlying the action of neuroleptics on particular receptor systems in order to explain the etiopathogenesis of schizophrenia is critically discussed. Moreover, principles which should be taken into account in the choice of antipsychotic medication, considering sensitivity of individual patients, are reminded.
On the example of history of two patients submitted to community care the process of involving the patient in therapy is analyzed. It is shown how through maintaining contacts with the patient and helping him/her to meet his/her daily needs it is possible to keep the patient in the community, and with time, after many years, to change his/her attitude towards treatment. The author suggests that instead of trying to obtain patient compliance with the doctor's orders, therapists should focus on the patient's needs and actual collaboration with him or her.