JD Barbero, A Palacín, P Serra, M Solé, L Ortega, Á Cabezas, I Montalvo, MJ Algora, L Martorell, E Vilella, V Sánchez-Gistau and J Labad,
Early intervention in psychiatry, Sep 2019 16
In the current cross-sectional study, we aimed to explore whether thyroid function or thyroid autoimmunity are associated with psychopathological symptoms and social functioning in patients with early psychosis. We hypothesized that psychopathological severity is greater in those patients with positive thyroid autoimmunity.We studied 70 outpatients with early psychosis (<3 years of illness) and 37 healthy subjects. Psychopathological symptoms (positive, negative, disorganized, excited and depressive) and social functioning were assessed. Thyroid autoimmunity (antibodies against thyroid peroxidase [TPO-Abs] and thyroglobulin [TG-Abs]) and thyroid function (thyroid-stimulating hormone [TSH] and free thyroxin [FT4]) were determined. Associations of thyroid variables and psychometric measures were assessed with Spearman's correlations. Logistic regression was performed to explore the association between psychopathological symptoms and positive anti-thyroidal antibodies while adjusting for covariates.When compared to patients without thyroid antibodies, those with positive thyroid antibodies had more negative symptoms and poorer function (P < .05). Titres of TPO-Abs were significantly correlated with negative and depressive PANSS domains and poorer functioning. TG-Abs were also associated with poorer functioning but not with psychopathological symptoms. TSH and FT4 concentrations were not associated with clinical symptoms. In the logistic regression analysis adjusted for age, gender, antipsychotic treatment, lithium, TSH and FT4 concentrations, negative symptoms were associated with thyroid autoimmunity (OR = 1.2, P = .019).Our study suggests that anti-thyroid antibodies are associated with a more severe phenotype with increased negative symptoms and poorer functioning in early psychotic patients. Since causality cannot be inferred with cross-sectional data, future longitudinal studies are needed to overcome this limitation.