Lege Artis Medicinae


BÁNKI M. Csaba1

NOVEMBER 30, 2004

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2005;15(02 klsz)

[Schizophrenia is a severe and chronic disorder affecting almost 1% of the population worldwide. Antipsychotic drugs, currently in their secondgeneration (atypical) antipsychotics, represent its first-line treatment. Compliance during long-term maintenance pharmacotherapy is one of the key factors in successful patient management; longacting, injectable antipsychotics may significantly contribute to the improvement of the patients The new form of this drug is the first long-acting, injectable second-generation antipsychotic; administered biweekly it produces stable, reliable clinical efficacy. Low peak plasma concentrations and smaller plasma level fluctuations result in excellent tolerance, less side effects than with per os risperidone and minimal local pain due to its specific technology. There is strong evidence from controlled clinical trials for its prolonged efficacy during long-term administration and for patient satisfaction being usually better than with most other antipsychotics. Switching over to long-acting injectable risperidone often results in further improvement even in previously stable patients. No safety concerns have emerged from published evidence. The long-acting injectable risperidone appears to reduce the rehospitalisation rate, a major factor towards its cost-effectiveness.]


  1. Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg Megyei Önkormányzat Pszichiátriai Szakkórháza, Nagykálló



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[As many as 80% of patients with schizophrenia have serious problems with the compliance at some point during their course of their treatment. In most cases, patients are partially compliant, taking only a portion of their prescribed medication. Early warning signs of such partial compliance may confuse some clinicians with non-response to treatment and may result in switching these patients to alternative oral antipsychotic drugs. This review focuses on factors that can contribute to partial compliance such as poor insight, negative attitude or subjective response toward medication, cognitive dysfunction, treatment-related side effects, substance abuse and complicated treatment regimen. Partial compliance is among the most common causes of psychotic relapse and the need for rehospitalisation. The reduced incidence of adverse side effects such as extrapyramidal symptoms with atypical antipsychotic agents has the potential to improve compliance in the maintenance treatment of schizophrenia. Administration of a long-acting injectable antipsychotic provides confirmation of whether patients have taken their medication. Furthermore, it allows physicians to distinguish non-response and non-compliance. Strategies for managing partial compliance include the use of a long-acting injectable atypical antipsychotic, psychoeducation and cognitive-behavioural interventions.]

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[INTRODUCTION - In the past 15 years new antipsychotic drugs have come forward with higher efficacy in the treatment of schizophrenia. These new medications are safer and have less side-effects. It is now established that longacting maintenance therapy is favourable than intermittent therapy CASE PRESENTATION - The author introduces the case of a male schizophrenic patient who was hospitalized three times over ten years. He discontinued maintenance therapy because of lack of symptoms first time, then because of severe side-effects and then he stopped seeing his psychiatrist. However after a new acute episode his treatment was changed to longacting injectable risperidone with a success. With maintenance therapy the patient is now symptom-free and went back to work. CONCLUSION - Continuous long-acting injectable therapy proved to be successful in the prevention of symptom recurrence and with its application patient compliance has improved and smaller doses have become sufficient to maintain stedy-state.]

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[The first drug used as an antipsychotic was chlorpromazine in 1952. The effective drugs after chlorpromazine in the treatment of schizophrenia and acute manic episodes were named as “major tranquillants” then neuroleptic drugs and later as first-generation antipsychotics. The discovery of clozapin has opened a new era in psychiatric therapy which was followed by new antipsychotics with less and less neurological sideeffects. These are called atypical neuroleptics or second generation antipsychotics. The author reviews the path that is characterized by the changes in the naming of these drugs and has led to a situation where clinical recommendations - both in Hungary and internationally - are used to distinguish between the second generation antipsychotics as first or second treatment of choice.]

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Symptom profiles and parental bonding in homicidal versus non-violent male schizophrenia patients

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Objective - To compare the intensity and the profile of psychotic symptoms and the characteristics of parental bonding of male schizophrenia patients with a history of homicide and those without a history of violent behaviour. Clinical question - We hypothesized more intense psychotic symptoms, especially positive symptoms as signs of a more severe psychopathology in the background of homicidal behaviour. We also hypothesized a more negatively perceived pattern (less Care more Overprotection) of parental bonding in the case of homicidal schizophrenia patients than in non-violent patients and non-violent healthy controls. Method and subjects - Symptom severity and symptom profiles were assessed with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale in a group of male schizophrenia patients (n=22) with the history of committed or attempted homicide, and another group (n=19) of male schizophrenia patients without a history of violent behaviour. Care- and Overprotection were assessed using the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI) in a third group of non-violent healthy controls (n=20), too. Results - Positive, negative and general psychopathology symptoms in the homicidal schizophrenia group were significantly (p<0.005) more severe than in the non-violent schizophrenia group. Non-violent schizophrenia patients scored lower on Care and higher on Overprotection than violent patients and healthy controls. Homicidal schizophrenia patients showed a pattern similar to the one in the healthy control group. Conclusions - It seems imperative to register intense positive psychotic symptoms as predictive markers for later violent behaviour. In the subgroup of male homicidal schizophrenia patients negatively experienced parental bonding does not appear to be major contributing factor to later homicidal behaviour.

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[Event-related potentials and clinical symptoms in schizophrenia]


[The investigation of schizophrenia’s aetiology and pathomechanism is of high importance in neurosciences. In the recent decades, analyzing event-related potentials have proven to be useful to reveal the neuropsychological dysfunctions in schizophrenia. Even the very early stages of auditory stimulus processing are impaired in this disorder; this might contribute to the experience of auditory hallucinations. The present review summarizes the recent literature on the relationship between auditory hallucinations and event-related potentials. Due to the dysfunction of early auditory sensory processing, patients with schizophrenia are not able to locate the source of stimuli and to allocate their attention appropriately. These deficits might lead to auditory hallucinations and problems with daily functioning. Studies involving high risk groups may provide tools for screening and early interventions; thus improving the prognosis of schizophrenia. ]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Paths and mispaths - the current challanges of the treatment of schizophrenia: a cognitive perspective]


[Schizophrenia is a severe chronic mental disorder accompanied by acute psychotic episodes. The prognosis for and the quality of life of the patients is not primarily determined by the psychotic episodes that often require hospitalization, but rather by the disorder-specific cognitive deficits that persist and progress during the illness and precede the manifestation of the disorder. The greatest challenge in treating the disease is the treatment of the cognitive impairments, since our pharmacological therapeutic repertoire is mainly effective in controlling and preventing manifestation of the psychotic symptoms. The study provides a brief report on the anomalies of the current pharmacology- and hospital-centered care that are however a considerable obstacle to a modern neurocognitive developmental rehabilitation of people with schizophrenia with the aim of promoting social integration. This paper also summarizes the importance of the pharmacological treatments from the neurocognitive perspective, and finally presents the possibilities and results of the psychosocial rehabilitation in the treatment of the neurocognitive deficits in the hope of encouraging changing and a therapeutic paradigm shift. ]

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[Pain sensitivity changes in schizophrenic patients and animal models. Part I.]


[Diminished pain sensitivity in schizophrenic patients has been reported for more than 50 years, however little is known about the substrate and the basic mechanisms underlying altered pain sensitivity in this disease, therefore, relevant animal models are of decisive importance in the study of psychiatric diseases. The authors report a review consisting of two parts focusing on pain sensitivity changes in patients and in different animal models, which proved the eligibility as schizophrenia models and pain sensitivities have also been determined. The first session discusses the pain sensitivity changes in patients and chronic animal models induced by chronic drug treatments, social isolation or cerebral lesions. The results of human studies suggest that hypoalgesia in schizophrenia might be the endophenotype of this disease, however further studies are warranted to determine the clinical and biological correlation and the social and health consequences of hypoalgesia in schizophrenia. The animal data indicate that the pain sensitivity has changed in most models; however, there are significant controversies between the results, therefore, further studies are needed to find the ideal model.]