Les symptômes négatifs de la schizophrénie et des autres troubles psychotiques : une approche multidimensionnelle

 

Michael Bodnar

CIUSSS de l'Ouest-de-l'Ile-de-Montréal

 

Domaine : service de santé

Programme chercheurs-boursiers cliniciens - Junior 1

Concours 2017-2018

Schizophrenia and the related psychoses are arguably the most serious of all mental health disorders affecting around 1% of population and are ranked third in the world in causes of years lost due to disability. Psychosis is characterized by positive (hallucinations, delusions), negative (diminished expressivity, avolition), and cognitive (disorganized thinking, impaired memory) symptoms. Negative symptoms generally persist longer than positive symptoms and have been robustly related to a poorer outcome. Additionally, predominant negative symptoms are associated to increased annual healthcare costs. Unfortunately, current treatments for negative symptoms offer limited to no relief. Therefore, there is an important need to provide adequate treatment for these symptoms in order to offer a better outcome for more while helping to reduce long-term healthcare costs.

The proposed research program aims to better understand negative symptoms across the continuum of psychosis (i.e. from a first-episode of psychosis to enduring schizophrenia) using behavioural, neurocognitive, and neuroimaging data, culminating in the development and implementation of a novel psychological intervention. Specifically, we will develop a multi-dimensional database which will provide a complete portrayal of negative symptoms across the various stages of psychosis and study the validity of several assessment tools for negative symptoms. Using state-of-the-art neuroimaging techniques, we aim to determine the critical period after the start of treatment when brain changes occur in relation to changes in negative symptom severity. These will help the development of a novel evidence-based intervention that specifically targets negative symptoms and associated difficulties such as memory problems.

The findings herein will significantly influence the development and testing of future negative symptom treatments aimed to improve outcome for more. Insights from my research program will also inform and help sustain and scale up the ongoing process of psychological services offered to people with psychosis, namely those with predominant negative symptoms.