Academic journal article Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience

Common and Specific Cognitive Deficits in Schizophrenia: Relationships to Function

Academic journal article Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience

Common and Specific Cognitive Deficits in Schizophrenia: Relationships to Function

Article excerpt

Abstract The goals of the present study were to assess the interrelationships among tasks from the MATRICS and CNTRACS batteries, to determine the degree to which tasks from each battery capture unique variance in cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia, and to determine the ability of tasks from each battery to predict functional outcome. Subjects were 104 schizophrenia patients and 132 healthy control subjects recruited as part of the CNTRACS initiative. All subjects completed four CNTRACS tasks and two tasks from the MATRICS battery: Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia Symbol Coding and the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test. Functional outcome was also assessed in the schizophrenia subjects. In both the patient and control groups, we found significant intercorrelations between all higher order cognitive tasks (episodic memory, goal maintenance, processing speed, verbal learning) but minimal relationships with the visual task. For almost all tasks, scores were significantly related to measures of functional outcome, with higher associations between CNTRACS tasks and performance-based measures of function and between one of the MATRICS tasks and self-reported functioning, relative to the other functioning measures. After regressing out variance shared by other tasks, we continued to observe group differences in performance among task residuals, particularly for measures of episodic memory from both batteries, although these residuals did not correlate as robustly with functional outcome as raw test scores. These findings suggest that there exists both shared and specific variance across cognitive tasks related to cognitive and functional impairments in schizophrenia and that measures derived from cognitive neuroscience can predict functional capacity and status in schizophrenia.

Keywords Cognitive control . Schizophrenia

Introduction

Patients with schizophrenia experience deficits across a variety of cognitive domains (Elvevag & Goldberg, 2000;Gold& Weinberger, 1995). It has been shown that these cognitive impairments have a negative impact on patients' ability to function (Bowie et al., 2008; Green, 1996), contributing to schizophrenia's status as one of the leading causes of disability in the United States (Ormel et al., 2008). Therefore, cognition in schizophrenia has emerged as an important target for treatment development (Gray & Roth, 2007;McGurk,Twamley, Sitzer, McHugo, & Mueser, 2007). In response to this need, various stakeholder groups, including researchers, the NIMH, industry, and the FDA, started two initiatives, both of which resulted in batteries of cognitive paradigms that assess multiple domains of cognition: the Measurement and Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (MATRICS) battery (Kern et al., 2008;Nuechterleinetal., 2008) and the Cognitive Neuroscience Test Reliability and Clinical Applications for Schizophrenia (CNTRACS) consortium battery (Barch et al., 2012; Henderson et al., 2012; Ragland et al., 2012; Silverstein et al., 2012)thatfollowed from the Cognitive Neuroscience Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (CNTRICS) initiative. To provide researchers with more information about the characteristics and utility of tasks from the CNTRACS and the MATRICS batteries, the goals of the present study were to assess the interrelationships among tasks from these batteries, to determine the degree to which tasks from each battery capture unique variance in cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia, and to examine the ability of tasks from each battery to predict functional outcome.

We are very pleased to put forth these results from the CNTRACS work as part of this special issue honoring Ed Smith. Ed Smith played an important role in helping to spawn the CNTRICS initiative. He was part of the RAND panel that helped to select tasks to be included in the MATRICS battery and expressed his frustration that few paradigms developed as part of modern cognitive neuroscience could be considered for the MATRICS battery because of the absence of psychometric data and the lack of standardization and optimization for use in clinical populations. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.