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Insomnia has been shown to contribute to the development of psychotic experiences, predominantly via increasing negative affect. However, the role of insomnia in the persistence of psychotic experiences is yet to be investigated in a clinical population. Furthermore, other plausible influences, such as psychotic experiences contributing to insomnia, remain to be evaluated. This study tests the role of insomnia as a predictor of persistence of psychotic experiences versus other potential causal routes. Twenty-nine patients aged 18-30 with non-affective psychosis completed three assessments over three months of their insomnia, negative affect, and psychotic experiences. Mixed effect models allowed comparisons between hypothesis-based models (comprising insomnia as predictor, negative affect as mediator, and psychotic experiences as outcome) and oppositional models, where relationships were reversed. The results supported the hypothesised mediation model above models where negative affect was primary. Insomnia was also found to be a stronger predictor of later hallucinations than vice versa, although a bidirectional relationship was indicated between insomnia and paranoia. In conclusion, insomnia predicts persistence of psychotic experiences over time to the same or greater extent than psychotic experiences contribute to insomnia. This supports insomnia as a potential intervention target in psychosis.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Psychiatry research
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An autosomal dominant disorder characterized by degeneration of the THALAMUS and progressive insomnia. It is caused by a mutation in the prion protein (PRIONS).
A serotonin uptake inhibitor that is used as an antidepressive agent. It has been shown to be effective in patients with major depressive disorders and other subsets of depressive disorders. It is generally more useful in depressive disorders associated with insomnia and anxiety. This drug does not aggravate psychotic symptoms in patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorders. (From AMA Drug Evaluations Annual, 1994, p309)
Marked disorders of thought (delusions, hallucinations, or other thought disorder accompanied by disordered affect or behavior), and deterioration from a previous level of functioning.
Agents that control agitated psychotic behavior, alleviate acute psychotic states, reduce psychotic symptoms, and exert a quieting effect. They are used in schizophrenia, senile dementia, transient psychosis following surgery or myocardial infarction, etc. These drugs are often referred to as neuroleptics alluding to the tendency to produce neurological side effects, but not all antipsychotics are likely to produce such effects. Many of these drugs may also be effective against nausea, emesis, and pruritus.
Disorders in which the essential feature is a severe disturbance in mood (depression, anxiety, elation, and excitement) accompanied by psychotic symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations, gross impairment in reality testing, etc.
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