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Precise early diagnosis of psychotic disorders possible
Date:11/2/2011

This release is available in Spanish.

Functional psychosis can be diagnosed from the first indications of the patient, thanks to affective symptomatology. Depressive moods, hyperactivity and lack of concentration are affective symptoms that can present themselves during the first psychotic episodes, and the presence or absence of any of them may contribute to differentiating, at an early stage, between the different variations of the mental disease. Thus concludes researcher Ms Marta Arrasate, who also pointed to the symptoms belonging to the activation dimension (verborrhea, lack of concentration, hyperactivity, etc.) as the best indicators. Her thesis, defended at the UPV/EHU, was entitled Valor predictivo de la sintomatologa afectiva en primeros episodios psicticos (Predictive value of affective symptomatology during the first psychotic episodes).

This is the first European PhD undertaken at the lava/Araba Unit of the Faculty of Medicine of the UPV/EHU, and was codirected by Ana Gonzlez-Pinto, 2010 National Award winner of the Spanish Society for Biological Psychiatry. According to Ms Gonzlez-Pinto, the relevance of the research lies in that "affective symptoms can help not only in telling future prognosis but also in contributing to diagnosis something difficult in psychiatry because diagnostic tests equivalent to a radiograph, an analysis or a scanner do not exist. This is why, if a test were found, however simple, or rudimentary, it would be of great use".

Evaluation in three stages

Ms Arrasate undertook the study based on a sample of 112 hospitalised patients with a first psychotic episode, and analysed the predictive value of the affective symptoms that present themselves in three concrete moments: initial hospital admission, the third year and the fifth year. In order to evaluate the results, the different
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