Working Memory in First-Episode Schizophrenic Patients and Their Healthy Siblings

By Miclutia, Ioana; Popescu, Codruta | Journal of Evidence-Based Psychotherapies, March 2008 | Go to article overview

Working Memory in First-Episode Schizophrenic Patients and Their Healthy Siblings


Miclutia, Ioana, Popescu, Codruta, Journal of Evidence-Based Psychotherapies


Abstract

Background: Working memory deficits are considered endophenotypes for schizophrenia. Therefore, they are present in ill subjects prior to the onset of the disorder, during the evolution of the disorder as well as in healthy relatives.

Aims: The purpose of this study was to examine the working memory of first episode schizophrenia patients (FEP) and their healthy siblings. In addition, we examined the relationship between the duration of untreated psychosis (DUP), the global functioning, symptoms, and cognitive function in first episode patients.

Methods: 49 first episode inpatients, 25 healthy siblings and 41 healthy volunteers were recruited. Patients were diagnosed using the SCID for DSM-IV disorders, assessed with the PANSS and Global Assessment of Functioning scale (GAF). DUP was calculated by means of multiple-source interviews, with patients and relatives. The Rey Auditory Verbal Test (RAVT), the Paired Associates Learning Test (PAL), the Spatial Span Test (SSP) and the Spatial Working Memory Test (SWM) from the CANTAB were administrated to all subjects.

Results: Patients had an average duration of untreated psychosis of 303.10 days. The overall performance of first episode schizophrenia patients was significantly lower compared to healthy individuals on all cognitive tasks, with the exception of the errors on the SSP. Healthy siblings had intermediate scores; they performed similar to controls on some tasks (RAVLT - retroactive inference, delayed recall, recognition, PAL first trial score and on the number of completed stages), and lower on others (RAVLT - immediate memory, total learning, proactive inference, PAL total errors and the stages completed on the first trial).

Discussion and conclusions: A significant correlation between the DUP and the PANSS general symptoms scores and low general function could be established. However, there were no significant correlations between DUP and cognitive tasks.

Keywords: working memory, first episode of schizophrenia, siblings, CANTAB

INTRODUCTION

The cognitive dimension of schizophrenia remained obscured by the disorder's positive, negative and disorganized dimensions. Cognitive disorders in schizophrenia are being reconsidered: they have been thought to be present years before the onset of the frank disease, endurable, progressive, and less responsive to treatment (Eastvold et al., 2007). There is growing awareness that neurocognitive impairments are core features of schizophrenia (Gur et al., 2007) that are independent of clinical symptoms and linked to functional outcomes (Gonzalez-Blanch et al., 2007). Furthermore, they are considered intermediate phenotypes or cognitive endophenotypes (Gottesman & Gould, 2003) that are identifiable and measurable by laboratory based methods. Although they are expressed as subtle signs, they represent a characteristic of the disorder and are biochemical, neuroanatomical, and neuropsychological endophenotypes (Bratti & Bilder, 2006).

The features of endophenotypes include: signs or symptom clusters that are considered vulnerability markers associated with the illness. They are heritable with familial co-segregation and are present in unaffected relatives. They are independent of the evolution of the disease and to positive or negative symptoms. In addition, they are stable over time and relate directly to the functional outcome (Cornblatt et al., 2007) and are less influenced by treatment (Gottesman & Gould, 2003).

Neurocognitive endophenotypes include: attention deficits (Cornblatt & Malhotra, 2001), working memory impairments (Cannon et al., 2000, Tuulia- Henriksson et al., 2003), antisaccadic eye movements (Ettinger et al., 2006), neurological soft signs, P50 prepulse inhibition (Hong et al., 2007).

A great amount of research has been dedicated to the various neurocognitive deficits in chronic schizophrenia. But these may be considerably biased by the effects of medication and sub stimulation (Bratti & Bilder, 2006). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Working Memory in First-Episode Schizophrenic Patients and Their Healthy Siblings
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    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.