Neurocognitive performance in subjects at ultrahigh risk for schizophrenia: a comparison with first-episode schizophrenia
Kyung Ran Kim ; Jin Young Park ; Suk Kyoon An ; Hae Kyung Koo ; Dong-Ho Song
Comprehensive Psychiatry, Vol.52(1) : 33~40, 2011
OBJECTIVE: The aim of the present study was to explore the neurocognitive performance of patients at ultrahigh risk (UHR) compared with patients with first-episode (FE) schizophrenia and healthy control (HC) subjects.
METHOD: Twenty-seven subjects at UHR for schizophrenia, 25 patients in their FE of schizophrenia, and 33 HCs were included. All participants completed a neurocognitive battery, including tests of general intelligence, attention and working memory, executive function, and verbal and visual memory.
RESULTS: Of the 3 groups, the FE subjects performed poorest at all neurocognitive tests, encompassing the broad range of impairments. The UHR subjects had a similar pattern of neuropsychological dysfunction but less severe than that of FE patients. The UHR subjects were particularly impaired on measures of attention and working memory, executive function, and verbal memory compared with the HCs.
CONCLUSION: These findings are consistent with the view that the neurocognitive impairments of schizophrenia are neurodevelopmental in nature and, although less severe, those impairments are mostly in place before the onset of the first frank psychotic episode. Neurocognitive impairments may play an important role in the pathogenesis of early psychosis and could help to clarify individuals at UHR for schizophrenia