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Negative subthreshold psychotic symptoms distinguish 22q11.2 deletion syndrome from other neurodevelopmental disorders: A two-site study

Negative subthreshold psychotic symptoms distinguish 22q11.2 deletion syndrome from other neurodevelopmental disorders: A two-site study

Schizophrenia Research 188: 42-49

About one third of individuals with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11.2DS) develop schizophrenia. Notably, a full-blown psychotic disorder is usually preceded by subthreshold symptoms. Therefore, it is important to identify early signs of psychosis in this population, a task that is complicated by the intellectual disabilities typically seen in 22q11.2DS. We aimed to identify subthreshold psychotic symptoms that distinguish 22q11.2DS from other neurodevelopmental disorders. The study included two independent cohorts from Tel Aviv and Philadelphia. 22q11.2DS (N=171) and typically developing (TD; N=832) individuals were enrolled at both sites and further compared to two groups with intellectual disabilities: Williams syndrome (WS; N=21) in the Tel Aviv cohort and idiopathic developmental disabilities (IDD; N=129) in the Philadelphia cohort. Participants and their primary caregivers were interviewed with the Structured Interview for Prodromal Symptoms (SIPS) and psychopathologies were assessed using standardized tools; general cognitive abilities were assessed with the Computerized Neurocognitive Battery. Negative/disorganized subthreshold syndrome was significantly more common in the 22q11.2DS group than in the WS (OR=3.90, 95% CI=1.34-11.34) or IDD (OR=5.05, 95% CI=3.01-10.08) groups. The 22q11.2DS group had higher scores than the two intellectual disabilities groups on several SIPS negative items, including avolition and decreased expression of emotion. Overall, there were few significant correlations between level of cognitive deficits and severity of negative symptoms in 22q11.2DS and only in the Tel Aviv cohort. Our findings suggest that 22q11.2DS individuals at the age of risk for developing psychosis should be closely monitored for negative symptoms.

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Accession: 060007518

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PMID: 28041919

DOI: 10.1016/j.schres.2016.12.023

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