August 07, 2005

Medication Response Clue to Familiality

Those with schizophrenia who do not respond to typical antipsychotic treatment may have a form of schizophrenia that is more familial than those who respond well to typical neuroleptic (antipsychotic) treatment. Familial means "tending to occur in more members of a family than expected by chance alone" (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary). The study found that patients that did not improve with antipsychotic treatment had first and second degree family members that were more more at risk to develop schizophrenia than those who were mentally healthy or who had schizophrenia but responded to the treatment.

36 patients participated who had schizophrenia and had responded to typical antipsychotic treatment and 35 participated who had schizophrenia but had not responded to treatment. 63 people who were mentally healthy participated as controls in this study. One or more relative was interviewed for each patient who was suffering from schizophrenia. The Family Interview for Genetic Studies was used "and the morbid risk of schizophrenia and cluster A personality disorder in both first- and second-degree relatives, along with family loading score for schizophrenia, was determined" (PsychiatryMatters.MD, 2005).

The first-degree relatives of the nonresponsive patients had a score of 8.84 on their morbid risk for schizophrenia, whereas the responsive patients first-degree relatives had a score of 2.45. The relatives of controls had a score of 1.52. This pattern was mimicked for the second-degree relatives of all the participants, as well as the risk of Cluster A personality disorder. Cluster A personality disorders are labeled as the Odd-Eccentric Personality Disorders. They include Paranoid PD, Schizoid PD, and Schizotypal PD.

From this study the researchers have determined that schizophrenia patients that are nonresponsive to treatment have a high amount of familiality and that genes play a large role in their being diagnosed with schizophrenia. Those with schizophrenia who responded to treatment have a form of familiality that is relative to non-genetic factors (e.g. environment). This study shows that schizophrenia patients who have relatives suffering from the disease (or a similar form of it) may have a different form of schizophrenia than those who do not have a family history and are therefore being diagnosed for reasons potentially outside of a genetic predisposition.

Original Source: Neuroleptic medication response offers clue to schizophrenia familiality. PsychiatryMatters.MD. 2005.

This research study was published at: Schizophrenia Research 2005; 77: 35-41


I am 23 and diagnose with psychosis. can tell me more. how do I cope with hearing these voices. I am on medication but I worry about it. Please assist me by tell me more.

Posted by: susan davis at December 11, 2006 01:24 PM

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