Highlights from Posters Presented Today


Among the numerous posters presented on the last day of the conference, the three highlighted here stood out.

Highlights from Posters Presented During Day Five of the APA Annual Meeting

Personality Differences in First Episode Schizophreniaand Bipolar Disorder

Poster Number: NR6-35

Researchers:Ronald J. Gurrera, MD, Toni Mahowald,BA, Dean Salisbury, PhD

Purpose:“To compare ‘big five’ personality trait dimensions in psychiatrically healthy individuals and first episode psychosis (schizophrenia and bipolar disorder).”

Results:“Personality deviations are present in first-episode schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and are similar to abnormalities previously described in patients with more chronic illness,” said Gurrera.

Time to Negative Symptoms Remission and Psychosocial Functioning in Schizophrenia: A 196- Week Double-blind Study of Ziprasidone versus Haloperidol

Poster Number: NR6-38

Researchers: Stephen Stahl, MD, PhD, Stephen M. Stahl, MD,PhD, Ashok Malla, MD, John W Newcomer, MD,Steven G. Potkin, MD, Peter J. Weiden, MD, Philip D.Harvey, PhD, Antony Loebel, MD, Eric Watsky, MD,Cynthia O. Siu, PhD, Steve Romano, MD

Purpose: Because schizophrenia “is a persistent, lifelong illness such that enduring functional improvements may only occur over the course of years,” explained Stahl, “Our study objective was to conduct a posthoc analysis of negative symptom remission and sustained functional recovery using a double-blind, randomized 40- week study of ziprasidone versus haloperidol, followed by a double-blind extension trial for 156 weeks.”

Results:Significantly greater likelihood of attaining negative symptom remission was seen with those who received ziprasidone 80-160mg per day and 80-120mg per day compared with those who received haloperidol. Additionally, patients in the ziprasidone 80-160mg per day group “had significantly greater likelihood of attaining sustained adequate functioning in instrumental role (occupation role, work functioning, work level, and work satisfaction) and participation in the community (everyday activities) for 6 months,” whereas those in the ziprasidone 80-120mg per day group “showed significantly greater likelihood versus the haloperidol group of attaining adequate instrumental role functioning.”

Diagnostic Aspects of Pathological Internet Use: A Prospective Study on Psychiatric Phenomenology and Comorbidity of Internet Dependency

Poster Number: NR7-02

Researchers:Bert T. te Wildt, MD,Putzig I, MD, Drews M, MD,Wedegaertner F, MD, MPH, Szycik GR, PhD

Purpose:To examine “whether the dependent use of the Internet can be understood as an impulse control disorder, an addiction, or as a symptom of other psychiatric conditions.”

Results: According to the Structured Clinical Interview according to DSM-IV (SCID) and the Beck Depression Inventory, 76% of participants—patients seeking psychiatric assistance and fulfilling the criteria for pathological Internet use—suffered from depressive syndrome, 40% from major depressive disorder, and 32% from adjustment disorder with depression. Participants also presented significantly higher levels of depression, impulsivity, and dissociation, compared with healthy controls. Further, 36% met criteria for personality disorder, 44% for accentuated personality structure, and 56% dramatic-eccentric personality. Lastly, 24% suffered from comorbid anxiety disorder, and 8% reported former substance abuse. With these findings, the researchers concluded that despite “high rates of comorbidity, Internet and computer game dependency in adults do not only appear to be a symptom of other known psychiatric conditions, but can be viewed as a diagnostic entity in itself. Especially the combination of Computer games played in the Internet seems to contain an addictive potential comparable to substance abuse disorders.”

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