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The European Journal of Psychiatry

Print version ISSN 0213-6163


CUESTA, Manuel J.; PERALTA, Victor; GIL, Patxi  and  ARTAMENDI, Maria. Premorbid Negative Symptoms in First-Episode Psychosis. Eur. J. Psychiat. [online]. 2007, vol.21, n.3, pp.220-229. ISSN 0213-6163.

Background and Objectives: Negative symptoms emerge in many patients with psychotic disorders long before the onset of the acute illness. These symptoms are often impossible to differentiate from certain Cluster A personality traits. Methods: The current study examines the extent to which premorbid negative symptoms are contributing factors to the development of primary and secondary negative symptomatology. Participants were 84 neuroleptic-naïve patients experiencing the occurrence of their first acute psychotic episode. Symptoms of psychopathology were assessed at two points: at admission and after remission of the acute episode. The Spanish version of the PANSS scale was administered. Premorbid personality assessment was considered as a proxy measure to evaluate each participant's negative symptomatology prior to the onset of the illness. Potential causes of secondary negative symptomatology, such as depression and extrapyramidal symptoms, were also examined. Results: 'Non-respondent' or 'residual' negative symptoms at discharge were significantly predicted by primary negative symptoms. To a lesser extent, disorganization and depressive symptoms at discharge and the Schizoid dimension of premorbid personality predicted residual negative symptoms. Conclusions: The severity of negative symptoms at the onset of the psychotic episode varied across patients. After controlling for 'respondent' and 'non-respondent' primary negative symptoms and other potential causes of negative symptoms, premorbid negative symptoms had a slight, but significant predictive relationship with residual negative symptoms.

Keywords : Schizophrenia; First-episode Psychosis; Neuropletic-naïve patients; Negative symptoms; Residual symptoms; Premorbid personality.

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