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The European Journal of Psychiatry

Print version ISSN 0213-6163


GALAVERNA, Flavia S.; MORRA, Carlos A.  and  BUENO, Adrián M.. Severity of negative symptoms significantly affects cognitive functioning in patients with chronic schizophrenia: the slowing in cognitive processing. Eur. J. Psychiat. [online]. 2014, vol.28, n.3, pp.145-153. ISSN 0213-6163.

Background and Objectives: Studies in patients with schizophrenia have shown a decreased overall cognitive performance, and it was found that processing speed and working memory functions are affected. The aim of this study was to describe the general cognitive performance of patients with chronic schizophrenia and analyze its relationship with the severity of psychotic symptoms. Methods: Forty-eight patients diagnosed with DSM IV-TR schizophrenia disorder were examined for symptom improvement, measured by scales SAPS and SANS. Participants also completed the full scale WAIS-III. Results: The results show a generalized cognitive deficit, reflected in the low level of general intelligence, as well as the different index that comprise the scale. The most compromised index was the processing speed. The correlations showed that the overall severity of negative symptoms significantly affects cognitive functioning of chronic patients. The formal thought disorder and alogia significantly correlated with almost all the WAIS-III measures. Conclusions: Multiple studies of specific cognitive domains in schizophrenia have shown that deficits in processing speed are the core element of cognitive impairment in schizophrenia. We support the hypothesis about the slowing in cognitive processing affect both the performance of the basic and more complex cognitive task.

Keywords : Chronic schizophrenia; Cognitive function; Negative symptoms; Processing speed.

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