Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Weight gain and metabolic change as predictors of symptom improvement in first-episode schizophrenia spectrum disorder patients treated over 12 months.

BACKGROUND: Treatment-emergent weight gain is associated with antipsychotic efficacy in schizophrenia patients treated with clozapine and olanzapine. However, few studies have investigated this relationship in first-episode patients treated with other antipsychotics, in particular those with a lower obesogenic potential. Aim To investigate the relationships between weight gain and associated metabolic changes with psychopathology improvement in relation to age, sex, ethnicity, substance use, treatment duration and antipsychotic dose in first-episode schizophrenia spectrum disorder patients.

METHODS: This single site cohort study included 106 minimally treated or antipsychotic-naive patients treated with flupenthixol decanoate over 12 months. Psychopathology was evaluated using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) and BMI, fasting blood lipids and glucose were assessed at regular intervals. Linear regression models were constructed to determine the effects of socio-demographic, clinical and metabolic factors as predictors of change in total PANSS score and factor-derived domains.

RESULTS: BMI change scores were inversely correlated with change in PANSS total (R = -0.25; p = 0.011), positive (R = -0.23; p = 0.019), depressive anxiety (R = -0.21; p = 0.031) and disorganized symptoms (R = -0.32; p < 0.001). Linear regression analysis showed that increased BMI and treatment duration both predicted improvement in global psychopathology and disorganized symptoms independent of age, sex, ethnicity, substance use, co-medication with antidepressants and/or anticholinergics, as well as the dose and duration of antipsychotic exposure.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that the relationship between treatment-emergent weight gain and psychopathology improvement is not limited to patients treated with antipsychotics most associated with weight gain, and is not confounded by treatment duration and dose.

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