Antipsychotic shows schizotypal personality disorder promise

Preliminary study findings suggest olanzapine may be effective for the treatment of schizotypal personality disorder (SPD).

Noting that “genetic, clinical, and neurobehavioral data support the hypothesis that SPD may be a schizophrenia-spectrum disorder,” Matcheri Keshavan and colleagues from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pennsylvania, USA, proposed that antipsychotic drugs, similar to those used in the treatment of schizophrenia, may be effective for the treatment of SPD.

To investigate, the team conducted an open-label study in which 11 patients with SPD were treated with a low dose of olanzapine, at an average of 9.32 mg/day, for 26 weeks.

At the end of the study, scores on the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS), the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression, the Overt Aggression Scale, and the Global Assessment of Symptoms (GAS) were all significantly improved compared with pre-treatment scores.

Significant improvements were seen in positive and negative symptoms, depressive symptoms, and in overall level of functioning. Analysis indicated that the average reductions in total BPRS and GAS scores were 31% and 28%, respectively.

None of the participants experienced extrapyramidal symptoms, but weight gain was observed in eight patients, with five gaining more than 7% body weight. Two patients lost weight during the study.

The researchers report in the journal Schizophrenia Research that “the encouraging results observed in this pilot, open-label study suggest the need for larger, controlled clinical trials of atypical antipsychotic drugs in the treatment of SPD.”

They stress the clinical importance of their findings given that patients with SPD are at an increased risk of subsequently developing schizophrenia or related psychotic disorders.

“It is an intriguing question as to whether early treatment of SPD with antipsychotics may reduce such a risk,” Keshavan et al conclude.

Posted by bbeard on 09/29 at 09:33 AM in Personal

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