Physical performance and disability in schizophrenia

Martin T Strassnig, Joseph Signorile, C. Gonzalez, Philip D Harvey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite 50. years of pharmacological and psychosocial interventions, schizophrenia remains one of the leading causes of disability. Schizophrenia is also a life-shortening illness, caused mainly by poor physical health and its complications. The end result is a considerably reduced lifespan that is marred by reduced levels of independence, with few novel treatment options available.Disability is a multidimensional construct that results from different, and often interacting, factors associated with specific types and levels of impairment. In schizophrenia, the most poignant and well characterized determinants of disability are symptoms, cognitive and related skills deficits, but there is limited understanding of other relevant factors that contribute to disability. Here we conceptualize how reduced physical performance interacts with aging, neurobiological, treatment-emergent, and cognitive and skills deficits to exacerbate ADL disability and worsen physical health. We argue that clearly defined physical performance components represent underappreciated variables that, as in mentally healthy people, offer accessible targets for exercise interventions to improve ADLs in schizophrenia, alone or in combination with improvements in cognition and health. And, finally, due to the accelerated aging pattern inherent in this disease - lifespans are reduced by 25. years on average - we present a training model based on proven training interventions successfully used in older persons. This model is designed to target the physical and psychological declines associated with decreased independence, coupled with the cardiovascular risk factors and components of the metabolic syndrome seen in schizophrenia due to their excess prevalence of obesity and low fitness levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-121
Number of pages10
JournalSchizophrenia Research: Cognition
Volume1
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2014

Keywords

  • Cognition
  • Disability
  • Exercise
  • Functional skills
  • Obesity
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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