How At-risk Mental State Is Linked to Psychosis

August 18, 2010

British researchers have determined the factors that lead patients with an ARMS to develop psychosis.

British researchers, aiming to determine what predicts the transition in many people with an at-risk mental state (ARMS), have determined the presenting symptoms that do so and report their results in the August 12 advance access edition of Schizophrenia Bulletin.

Investigating psychopathological dimension in 122 participants who met Personal Assessment and Crisis Evaluation cliniccriteria for the ARMS, the team examined “whether particularsymptom dimensions predicted subsequent transition to psychosis.” Specifically, a “principal axis factor analysis was performed on symptom scores,obtained at presentation from the Comprehensive Assessment ofthe At-Risk Mental State, using Varimax rotation. The relationshipbetween dimension scores and transition to psychosis duringthe following 24 months was then examined employing Cox regressionanalysis.”

The researchers found that ARMS symptoms have a dimensional structure—negative, anxiety, disorganization/cognitive, self-harm, and maniac symptom dimensions—similar to that seen in patients with schizophrenia, aside from the positive symptom dimension. They concluded that the “association betweenscores on the disorganization/cognitive and negative dimensionsand later transition is consistent with independent evidencethat formal thought disorder, subjective cognitive impairments,and negative symptoms are linked to the subsequent onset ofpsychosis.”

More on At-risk Mental State:

  • Access the full article in Schizophrenia Bulletin
  • Instructions for patients, or loved ones, on when to intervene
  • Neural Correlates of Movement Generation in the 'At-risk Mental State'