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Transl Psychiatry. 2017 Jul 25;7(7):e1180. doi: 10.1038/tp.2017.157.

Emergent, remitted and persistent psychosis-spectrum symptoms in 22q11.2 deletion syndrome.

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Department of Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Division of Human Genetics, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Department of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.


Individuals with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS) are at markedly elevated risk for schizophrenia-related disorders. Stability, emergence, remission and persistence of psychosis-spectrum symptoms were investigated longitudinally. Demographic, clinical and cognitive predictors of psychosis were assessed. Prospective follow-up over 2.8 years was undertaken in 75 individuals with 22q11DS aged 8-35 years. Mood, anxiety, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders and psychosis-spectrum symptoms were assessed with the Kiddie-Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia and Scale of Prodromal Symptoms (SOPS). Four domains of cognition were evaluated with the Penn Computerized Neurocognitive Battery (executive functioning, memory, complex cognition and social cognition). Psychotic disorder or clinically significant SOPS-positive ratings were consistently absent in 35%, emergent in 13%, remitted in 22% and persistent in 31% of participants. Negative symptoms and functional impairment were found to be predictive of the emergence of positive psychosis-spectrum symptoms and to reflect ongoing deficits after remission of positive symptoms. Dysphoric mood and anxiety were predictive of emergent and persistent-positive psychosis-spectrum symptoms. Lower baseline global cognition and greater global cognitive decline were predictive of psychosis-spectrum outcomes but no particular cognitive domain stood out as being significantly more discriminating than others. Our findings suggest that negative symptoms, functioning and dysphoric mood are important predictors of psychosis risk in this population.

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