A team from Holmusk recently attended the annual Psych Congress meeting in New Orleans to share their expertise in leveraging real-world data to generate new insights and answer pressing behavioral health questions.
Holmusk also presented two posters, both of which leveraged NeuroBlu, Holmusk’s industry-leading database that contains robust, longitudinal real-world behavioral health data captured over more than 20 years from over 1 million patients.
Examining the association between cognitive dysfunction and outcomes
Many patients with schizophrenia experience cognitive dysfunction. These individuals often have poor quality of life and worse long-term functioning than patients with schizophrenia who experience less cognitive dysfunction. Holmusk conducted a real-world data study to determine the association between presence of cognitive dysfunction and clinical outcomes.
Cognitive dysfunction is often reported through clinician notes, meaning that this valuable information is often not represented in any structured data format and is unable to be used to advance researchers’ understanding of schizophrenia. The study team applied Holmusk’s natural language processing models to extract symptoms of cognitive dysfunction and create research-ready data.
Of the 10,070 patients with schizophrenia who were drawn from NeuroBlu and included in the study, 28.1% had symptoms of cognitive dysfunction reported by their clinicians. This group was found to be at higher risk of hospitalization than those without cognitive dysfunction. The group with symptoms of cognitive dysfunction were also prescribed a higher number of antipsychotics in the year following diagnosis.
“These findings add further evidence to support the idea that cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia may be a marker of worse illness and a risk factor for poorer real-world clinical outcomes for these patients,” said Kira Griffiths, PhD, a research scientist at Holmusk and lead author of the poster. “The development of novel treatments that could reach this group and treat cognitive impairment should be prioritized to improve outcomes.”
Uncovering new information about symptoms of borderline personality disorder
Borderline personality disorder is a heterogeneous condition that presents differently across patients. Due to this variation in presentation, among other factors, borderline personality disorder is particularly difficult to treat, with no medication specifically licensed for the disorder. Improving understanding of the symptoms of the disorder may contribute to improved treatment strategies. Holmusk conducted a network analysis to explore how individual symptoms are related to each other in order to better understand the key features of associations between groups of symptoms in patients with borderline personality disorder.
The analysis included NeuroBlu data from 2,287 patients with a diagnosis of personality disorder and symptom data recorded one month after diagnosis. More than 300 unique symptoms were reported, with affective instability, problems with relationships, and impulsivity as the most frequently reported.
“Although borderline personality disorder does present with great heterogeneity, we were able to group symptoms, establish a network of associations between symptom groups, and identify the most commonly reported symptoms,” said Emily Palmer, PhD, research scientist at Holmusk and lead author of the poster. “Further research could help identify patient subtypes, which would be useful in the creation of personalized treatment pathways.”