Reexamination of the characteristics of the deficit schizophrenia patients.Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2003 Oct; 253(5):221-7.EA
The aim of this study was to reexamine and compare the characteristics of the deficit and nondeficit schizophrenic patients. This cross-sectional study consisted of 62 in- and out-patients, 18-65 years of age, diagnosed with schizophrenia according to DSM-IV. The sociodemographic variables, premorbid adjustment, clinical course and general functioning level in the past five years were evaluated by utilizing the appropriate sections of Comprehensive Assessment of Symptoms and History (CASH). In addition, GAF, the Schedule for the Deficit Syndrome (SDS), Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), Montgomery Asberg Depression Scale (MADRS), the Neurological Evaluation Scale (NES) and the Simpson Angus Extrapyramidal Side Effects (EPS) Rating Scale, Trail A and B, Verbal Fluency, Stroop, Block Design and Finger Tapper tests were administered. Using the SDS, 19 patients (30.6 %) were categorized as deficit; 43 (69.4 %) were categorized as nondeficit. The deficit patients were worse on the Functioning During Past Five Years score of CASH. The PANSS and MADRS mean scores were not significantly different between the two groups, except a higher level of negative symptoms observed in the deficit group. NES scores were also significantly higher in the deficit group. However, sociodemographic and other clinical variables, neurocognitive measures and EPS symptoms did not show any significant difference between the two groups. Our findings suggest that the deficit schizophrenia is a distinct subgroup comprised of patients who have more negative symptoms, neurological impairment and poor functioning which may have a common underlying pathology.