from the feeling-better-already dept.
According to scientists at the University of Birmingham's Institute for Mental Health, depression may be an intrinsic part of early phase psychotic disorders that should be treated together with other more prominent symptoms to improve patient outcomes.
Depression is often identified alongside psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia in the early stages of the disorder, but is not currently routinely treated. In a new study, published in Schizophrenia Bulletin, the researchers set out to find out more about the associations between depression and psychosis, and particularly whether there were similarities in brain structure that could help future diagnostic pathways at an early stage.
Data was gathered from 1700 patients as part of the PRONIA study, a largescale European study which uses machine learning to find ways to predict how people with recent onset psychosis might recover.
[...] Their results showed that, in fact, there was little difference in either the patients' depressive symptoms or in the structural brain changes in patients with depression, with and without psychosis. This shows that there is no subgroup of patients with both depression and psychosis, but rather that depression may be an intrinsic part of a majority of patients' psychosis.
The team argue their findings show that treatments focused on depression may well be an effective additional first-line treatment for psychosis, to be given alongside regular interventions.
[...] The team has already embarked on a clinical trial to test the approach in patients. The ADEPP trial will test people in the first stages of psychosis who take anti-depressants alongside anti-psychotic drugs. The trial will assess over a six month period whether the anti-depressants have an effect on the patients' ability to recover from their psychosis.
Upthegrove, Rachel, Lalousis, Paris, Mallikarjun, Pavan, et al. Psychopathology and Neuroanatomical Markers of Depression in Early Psychosis, Schizophrenia Bulletin (DOI: 10.1093/schbul/sbaa094)