Schizophrenia is a disorder with variable outcome and the ability to predict the outcome has important clinical utility. Neurological soft signs (NSS) and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex volumes have been described as trait markers for schizophrenia and their relation to long-term outcome in schizophrenia has not been well studied. The aim of this study was to examine the correlation between baseline dorsolateral prefrontal lobe (DLPFL) volume and NSS scores to clinical and functional outcome variables in a cohort of schizophrenia patients who were anti-psychotic naïve at baseline. Fourteen anti-psychotic naive schizophrenia patients whose baseline magnetic resonance imaging scans, NSS scores and positive and negative signs and symptoms scale (PANSS) scores (assessed in drug naïve state) were available were reevaluated after a mean follow-up period of 74.2±24.2 months. The clinical outcome variables measured was PANSS. The social and functional outcome was assessed comprehensively by the socio occupational functioning scale and the Strauss Carpenter outcome scale. The DLPFL, volume was measured from the baseline scans using the region of interest method. Statistical analysis was done using the paired samples t-test and the Pearson′s correlation co-efficient. The results showed that smaller left DLPFL volume and greater primitive reflexes at baseline predicted greater negative symptoms and poorer functional outcome on follow-up. This study also demonstrates the clinical utility of NSS as a simple bedside tool in assessing schizophrenia patients.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health