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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Taiwan: Greater Severity of Treatment Resistance in Schizophrenia Associated with Greater Impairments in Sustained Attention

Some patients with schizophrenia show poor responses to treatment, denoted as treatment-resistant schizophrenia (TRS). Even when clozapine, the gold standard treatment of TRS, is prescribed, some still show clozapine resistance (CR). There appears to be a gradient impairment in patients’ sustained attention from non-TRS to TRS without CR, and then to TRS with CR, according to a study by Dr. An-sheng Lin at Taoyuan Psychiatric Center and professor, Dr. Wei J. Chen at National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health. The results have been published online by BMC Psychiatry.

“About 30 percent of patients of schizophrenia show poor responses to treatment,” said Dr. Lin, first author of the paper, “and an estimated 30 percent of patients receiving clozapine have unsatisfactory responses.” To have better understanding about the factor underpinning these treatment resistance, Dr. Lin recruited 102 non-TRS patients, 48 patients of TRS without CR, and 54 patients with CR at Bali Psychiatric Center, all undertaking the Continuous Performance Test (CPT).

The proportions of attentional deficits increased from 36.3 percent in the non-TRS to 62.5 percent in the TRS without CR and to 83.3 percent in the TRS with CR. “This suggests that there is a trend of greater impairments in sustained attention associated with greater severity of treatment resistance in schizophrenia,” concluded Dr. Chen, corresponding author, “and adds support to the postulation that both might share some common vulnerability.”

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