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Motivation/pleasure deficits, not impaired expression, contribute to social dysfunction in schizophrenics – Neuroscience News

summary: Motivation and anhedonia rather than expressive dysfunction play an important role in determining social functioning in people with schizophrenia.

source: Chinese Academy of Sciences

Schizophrenia is a complex neurodevelopmental and brain disorder associated with a wide range of mental illnesses that affect cognition, emotion and thought processes.

Although the diagnosis of schizophrenia is based mainly on positive symptoms such as hallucinations and delusion, the final functional outcome of schizophrenic patients is mainly determined by negative symptoms such as anhedonia, tension, and expressive imbalances.

However, the underlying relationship between negative symptoms and social functioning is not fully known.

Previous studies investigating the relationship between negative symptoms and social functioning have adopted a standardized construction of negative symptoms. Recent findings support a two-factor model of arousal/anhedonia and expression dysfunction in schizophrenia. The unique effect of stimulation, anhedonia, and expression on social functioning needs further elucidation.

In order to address this unclear issue, Dr. Raymond Chan and his team from the Institute of Psychology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences adopted network analysis to examine the network structure and the interrelationship between negative symptoms (in both the ‘symptom dimension’) and the ‘item symptoms’), and psychopathology. Otherness and social functioning in 269 patients with schizophrenia.

They assessed negative symptoms using the Clinical Negative Symptoms Assessment Interview and the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, and social functioning using the Social and Occupational Performance Assessment Scale.

Previous studies investigating the relationship between negative symptoms and social functioning have adopted a standardized construction of negative symptoms. The image is in the public domain

According to the researchers, anhedonia and stress capture factor were closely related to social functioning in patients with schizophrenia, after controlling for medication side effects, duration of illness, and other psychiatric illnesses. Consistent patterns of network structure were shown at the ‘symptom dimension’ and ‘symptom component’ levels.

Post hoc analysis further showed that the stimulus and anhedonia factor accounted for the largest proportion of the variance in social performance.

Taken together, these results support that stimulation and anhedonia rather than expressive imbalances play a pivotal role in determining the social functioning of patients with schizophrenia. This study highlights agitation and anhedonia as a potential intervention target to improve functional outcomes for patients with schizophrenia.

Dr. Chan’s team is now investigating whether this pattern of relationship is unique to patients with schizophrenia or shared with other psychiatric disorders presenting with anhedonia, motivation and expressive imbalances such as major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder.

About this research on schizophrenia news

author: Zhang Nanan
source: Chinese Academy of Sciences
Contact: Zhang Nanan – Chinese Academy of Sciences
picture: The image is in the public domain

original search: Access closed.
“The important role of motivational and hedonistic deficits in social functioning in patients with schizophrenia: a network analysis” by Hui-xin Hu et al. Schizophrenia Bulletin


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The important role of motivational and hedonistic deficits in social functioning in patients with schizophrenia: a network analysis

Negative symptoms, particularly motivation and pleasure deficits (MAP), are associated with impaired social functioning in patients with schizophrenia (SCZ). However, previous studies have rarely examined the role of MAP in social functioning considering the complex interplay of other psychopathology.

This network analysis study examined network structure and the interrelationship between negative symptoms (at the ‘symptom dimension’ and ‘symptom component’ level), other psychiatric illness and social functioning in a sample of 269 patients with SCZ. Psychopathological symptoms were assessed using the Clinical Negative Symptoms Assessment Interview (CAINS) and Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS).

Social performance was assessed using the Social and Occupational Performance Assessment Scale (SOFAS). Indicators of centrality and relative importance were estimated for each node. Network structures were compared between male and female participants.

Our resulting networks at both the ‘symptom dimension’ and ‘symptom component’ levels suggested that the MAP factor/its individual components were closely associated with social functioning in SCZ patients, after controlling for the complex interaction between other nodes.

The materiality analysis showed that the MAP factor accounts for the largest proportion of the variance in social performance. This study is among the few that used network analysis and CAINS to examine the interrelationship between negative symptoms and social functioning.

Our findings supported the pivotal role of the MAP factor to determine the social functioning of SCZ patients, and as a potential intervention target to improve SCZ functional outcomes.

2022-05-11 18:35:19

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