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. 2018 Jul;265:19-24.
doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2018.04.015. Epub 2018 Apr 5.

The Relationship Between Illicit Amphetamine Use and Psychiatric Symptom Profiles in Schizophrenia and Affective Psychoses

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The Relationship Between Illicit Amphetamine Use and Psychiatric Symptom Profiles in Schizophrenia and Affective Psychoses

Alexandra Voce et al. Psychiatry Res. .

Abstract

This study examines whether illicit amphetamine use is associated with differences in the prevalence of specific psychiatric symptoms in a community sample of individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia or affective psychotic disorders. Data was drawn from the Australian Survey of High Impact Psychosis. The Diagnostic Interview for Psychosis was used to measure substance use and psychiatric symptoms. Participants had used amphetamine within their lifetime and had an ICD-10 diagnosis of schizophrenia (n = 347) or an affective psychotic disorder (n = 289). The past year prevalence of psychiatric symptoms was compared among those who had used amphetamine in the past year (past-year use, 32%) with those who had not (former use, 68%). Univariate logistic regression analysis indicated that past-year users with schizophrenia had a significantly higher past year prevalence of hallucinations, persecutory delusions, racing thoughts, dysphoria, and anhedonia relative to former amphetamine users with schizophrenia. There were no significant differences in symptoms between past-year and former users with affective psychotic disorders. The relationship between amphetamine use and specific psychiatric symptoms varies across different psychotic disorders. Amphetamine use may hinder prognosis by exacerbating symptoms of schizophrenia through dopaminergic dysfunctions or depressive vulnerabilities, however, this needs to be confirmed by prospective longitudinal research.

Keywords: Bipolar disorder; Delusions; Hallucinations; Methamphetamine; Primary psychotic disorders; Stimulants; Substance use.

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