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The European Journal of Psychiatry

Print version ISSN 0213-6163

Abstract

BALOGH, Nóra; EGERHAZI, Anikó  and  BERECZ, Roland. Neurocognitive changes in patients with schizophrenia during relapse and early remission. Eur. J. Psychiat. [online]. 2015, vol.29, n.3, pp.199-209. ISSN 0213-6163.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4321/S0213-61632015000300004.

Background and Objectives: Several studies have demonstrated that patients with schizophrenia have impaired cognitive functioning. In the literature there have been controversial results about the cognitive deficits occurring in the different states of the illness. Furthermore, there have been relatively few studies to investigate the associations between neurocognitive deficits and clinical status over time. In order to follow the changes of neurocognitive subfunctions during relapse and early remission (clinically stable state), in the present study patients with schizophrenia were tested in the acute phase and in clinically stable state, and then the results were correlated with clinical symptoms. Methods: Forty-two patients diagnosed with schizophrenia based on diagnostic interviews by clinicians and 43 normal controls were studied. Neurocognitive skills were evaluated with six subtests of the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB). Among patients with schizophrenia, symptom severity was assessed with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). Results: Patients with schizophrenia performed significantly worse in all neurocognitive subtests compared to healthy controls at both relapse and clinically stable state. At follow-up these cognitive changes improved, however still marked dysfunctions were observed. The negative symptoms in the PANSS and CANTAB tests were negatively correlated with both results during relapse and clinically stable state. Conclusions: Cognitive impairment exists among patients with schizophrenia compared to healthy subjects during both relapse and early remission suggesting that these deficits might be permanent.

Keywords : Schizophrenia; Neurocognition; Relapse; Early remission; CANTAB.

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