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A clinical comparison of schizophrenia with and without pre-onset cannabis use disorder: a retrospective cohort study using categorical and dimensional approaches

Abstract : AbstractBackground A high prevalence of cannabis use disorder has been reported in subjects suffering from schizophrenia, fuelling intense debate about whether schizophrenia with pre-onset cannabis use disorder may be a distinct entity with specific features or whether cannabis use disorder can precipitate schizophrenia in genetically vulnerable subjects.Methods We retrospectively assessed schizophrenia subjects with and without pre-onset cannabis use disorder on the basis of their clinical features, assessed categorically and dimensionally with the operational criteria checklist for psychotic illnesses (OCCPI). We also investigated whether the two groups could be differentiated on the basis of a history of psychiatric disorders in first-degree relatives. A principal component factor analysis of the OCCPI items was used to identify specific symptom dimensions. The relationships between symptom dimensions and cannabis status were analysed by point-biserial correlation analysis to control for sex and age at time of the assessment and illness duration.ResultsOne hundred and seventy-one subjects with a diagnosis of schizophrenia were included. Among them, forty-one patients (18.2 % of the sample) had a cannabis use disorder before or at the time of the onset of schizophrenia. We found similar results in symptoms patterns or family history between patients with and without pre-onset cannabis use disorder.ConclusionsOur results clearly argue against cannabis-associated schizophrenia being a relevant distinct clinical entity of schizophrenia with specific features.
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Samuel Sarrazin, Florence Louppe, Raphael Doukhan, Franck Schürhoff. A clinical comparison of schizophrenia with and without pre-onset cannabis use disorder: a retrospective cohort study using categorical and dimensional approaches. Annals of General Psychiatry, 2015, 14 (1), pp.44. ⟨10.1186/s12991-015-0083-x⟩. ⟨inserm-01254135⟩

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