Bimonthly, Established in 1959
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In this issue

Systematic review and meta-analysis

Research in China on the molecular genetics of schizophrenia

Donghong CUI, Kaida JIANG

Summary: Schizophrenia is a complex disease caused by genetic and environmental factors with a global heritability of more than 80%. By the end of the 1970s, Chinese scientists reported a heritability of schizophrenia of 82.9% in the Chinese Han population. Continuous improvements in research techniques and the recruitment of larger samples have made it possible for Chinese scientists to identify a number of candidate susceptibility genes for schizophrenia. This article reviews the results in genetic research of schizophrenia by Chinese scientists over the last five decades.

Original research article

Event-related potentials during mental rotation tasks in patients with first-episode depression

Jiu CHEN, Laiqi YANG, Guangxiong LIU, Yan ZHANG, Xinqu WU, Wentao MA, Zihe DENG

Background: The ability to mentally rotate images is impaired in depressed patients but the electrophysiological abnormalities in the brain related to this impairment remain unclear. 

Aim: To compare the event-related potentials (ERPs) of depressed patients and control subjects during the completion of a mental rotation (MR) task.
Methods: Thirty-two inpatients and outpatients with first-episode depression and twenty-nine control subjects were administered an MR task that presented test stimuli at different angles of orientation. During the test ERPs were measured in four regions of the brain (PZ, CZ, P3 and P4). Outcome variables included the error rate, reaction time, P500 latency and maximum P500 amplitude.
Results: Compared to control subjects, patients with depression completing the MR test had a significantly longer mean (sd) reaction time (689 [98] ms vs. 569 [55] ms; t=4.36, p
Conclusion: Our study confirms previous work on the usefulness of MR tests to assess the cognitive deficits in depression. We find that the electrophysiological measures provided by ERP assessments during MR tasks, particularly maximum P500 amplitude and maximum P700 amplitude, are potential biological markers for depression. Prospective studies that assess changes in these measures over the course of a depressive illness will be needed to confirm their usefulness.
Cross-sectional assessment of the factors associated with occupational functioning in patients with schizophrenia
Na LI , Ying CHEN, Hong DENG

Background: Studies from other countries indicate that occupational skills training can improve the social functioning and quality of life for patients with schizophrenia, but there is little research about the relationship of occupational skills and the functional status of patients in China. 

Aim: Use a translated Chinese version of the Comprehensive Occupational Therapy Evaluation scale (COTE) to evaluate occupational functining in inpatients and recently discharged patients with schizophrenia and assess the relationship of occupational functioning to demographic, clinical and cognitive measures.
Methods: Thirty-five inpatiens and 29 recently discharged outpatients with schizophrenia were evaluated by trained clinicals using the COTE, the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) and a neuropsychological battery that included the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), the Continuous Perfomance Test (CPT), the digit symbol-coding subtest from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS), and Trail Making Test parts A and B (TMT-A, TMT-B).
Results: The total score on the COTE and the three COTE dimensional scores (evaluating general behavior, interpersonal communication and task behavior) were all strongly correlated with the PANSS total score and the PANSS positive symptom, negative symptom and general pathology subscale scores (ranked correlation coefficients range from 0.40 to 0.90). The correlationship of the COTE measures was significantly greater with the PANSS negative symptom score than with the PANSS positive symptom score. The COTE scores were also significantly correlated with the Continuous Performance Test measures, the WAIS digit symbol-coding test scores and some, but not all, of the measures derived from the TMT-A , the TMT-B, and the WCST. Mutiple regression analyses found that the four COTE measures of occupational functioning were most strongly associated with either the PANSS total score or the PANSS negative symptom score and secondarily associated with time to complete TMT-B, the CPT measure on number of omissions, and the respondent’s years of education.
Conclusion: Occupational functioning measures of inpatients and recently discharged outpatients with schizophrenia are closely related to the severity of psychiatric symptoms and, to a lesser extent, with cognitive functioning measures and duration of education.
Cross-sectional study of executive functioning in children with developmental coordination disorders
Sheng ZHU, Guangzheng TANG, Jianfei SHI

Background: Children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) have multiple impairments in movement, learning, and the activities of daily living. Studies from other countries have associated these impairments with cognitive function, particularly executive functioning, but these findings have not been confirmed in China. 

Aim: Compare the executive functioning of children with DCD with that of normal children.
Methods: The Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) was administered to 39 children who met DSM-IV criteria of DCD identified at the Seventh People’s Hospital of Hangzhou from March 2008 through March 2010. The WCST was also administered to a control group of 39 randomly selected children from one elementary school in Hangzhou.
Results: The total responses on the WCST and the number of non-perseverative errors for cases and controls were similar, but cases had significantly more errors, more perseverative responses and more perseverative errors; moreover, they completed fewer categories than controls and required more trials to complete the first category.
Conclusion: Our study confirms previous studies which show significantly impaired executive functioning in patients with DCD. Collectively, these studies suggest that the deficits in executive functioning of children with DCD significantly impair their intellectual and social development.


The need to establish diagnostic criteria for borderline personality disorder in China
Lanlan WANG, Zeping XIAO

Case report

Psychiatric symptoms in an individual with tuberous sclerosis
Qiaojin LIU, Jinli GAO

Biostatistics in psychiatry

Prevention and management of missing data during conduct of a clinical study
Kousick BISWAS