Author(s): Schulz S, Haueisen J, Br KJ, Andreas V, Schulz S, Haueisen J, Br KJ, Andreas V
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Abstract Schizophrenia as a mental illness is one of the most serious in the world. Patients with schizophrenia have an increased cardiac mortality rate, but the reasons for this remain unclear. In addition to other factors, the role of impaired autonomic regulation during acute psychosis has become more evident in different studies applying heart rate (HR) variability analyses. But, until now, respiration and cardiorespiratory regulation, which are important for homeostatic control, have not been considered. In this study, short-term cardiorespiratory couplings (CRCs) of 23 unmedicated patients with paranoid schizophrenia (SZO), 20 of their healthy first-degree relatives (REL) and 20 healthy subjects (CON) matched according to age and sex of SZO and REL were investigated by applying high-resolution joint symbolic dynamics (HRJSD) analysis. We found a significantly (p<0.0061) altered HR pattern, respiratory pattern and CRCs in SZO and only marginal alterations for the REL group in comparison with the CON group when we applied HRJSD. These results might be an indication of decreased vagal activity within the brainstem, an altered or suppressed interaction of the brainstem and higher regulatory centres, or panic- and anxiety-related changes in the brainstem associated with the acute psychosis of these patients. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci
and referenced in Journal of Medical Diagnostic Methods