Static and Dynamic Cognitive Deficits in Childhood Preceding Adult Schizophrenia: A 30-Year Study
ABSTRACT Premorbid cognitive deficits in schizophrenia are well documented and have been interpreted as supporting a neurodevelopmental etiological model. The authors investigated the following three unresolved questions about premorbid cognitive deficits: What is their developmental course? Do all premorbid cognitive deficits follow the same course? Are premorbid cognitive deficits specific to schizophrenia or shared by other psychiatric disorders?
Participants were members of a representative cohort of 1,037 males and females born between 1972 and 1973 in Dunedin, New Zealand. Cohort members underwent follow-up evaluations at specific intervals from age 3 to 32 years, with a 96% retention rate. Cognitive development was analyzed and compared in children who later developed schizophrenia or recurrent depression as well as in healthy comparison subjects.
Children who developed adult schizophrenia exhibited developmental deficits (i.e., static cognitive impairments that emerge early and remain stable) on tests indexing verbal and visual knowledge acquisition, reasoning, and conceptualization. In addition, these children exhibited developmental lags (i.e., growth that is slower relative to healthy comparison subjects) on tests indexing processing speed, attention, visual-spatial problem solving ability, and working memory. These two premorbid cognitive patterns were not observed in children who later developed recurrent depression.
These findings suggest that the origins of schizophrenia include two interrelated developmental processes evident from childhood to early adolescence (ages 7-13 years). Children who will grow up to develop adult schizophrenia enter primary school struggling with verbal reasoning and lag further behind their peers in working memory, attention, and processing speed as they get older.
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ABSTRACT: Patients with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS) have an elevated (25%) risk of developing schizophrenia. Recent reports have suggested that a subgroup of children with 22q11DS display a substantial decline in cognitive abilities starting at a young age. To determine whether early cognitive decline is associated with risk of psychotic disorder in 22q11DS. Prospective longitudinal cohort study. As part of an international research consortium initiative, we used the largest data set of intelligence (IQ) measurements in patients with 22q11DS reported to date to investigate longitudinal IQ trajectories and the risk of subsequent psychotic illness. A total of 829 patients with a confirmed hemizygous 22q11.2 deletion, recruited through 12 international clinical research sites, were included. Both psychiatric assessments and longitudinal IQ measurements were available for a subset of 411 patients (388 with ≥1 assessment at age 8-24 years). Diagnosis of a psychotic disorder, initial IQ, longitudinal IQ trajectory, and timing of the last psychiatric assessment with respect to the last IQ test. Among 411 patients with 22q11DS, 55 (13.4%) were diagnosed as having a psychotic disorder. The mean (SD) age at the most recent psychiatric assessment was 16.1 (6.2) years. The mean (SD) full-scale IQ at first cognitive assessment was lower in patients who developed a psychotic disorder (65.5 [12.0]) compared with those without a psychotic disorder (74.0 [14.0]). On average, children with 22q11DS showed a mild decline in IQ (full-scale IQ, 7.04 points) with increasing age, particularly in the domain of verbal IQ (9.02 points). In those who developed psychotic illness, this decline was significantly steeper (P < .001). Those with a negative deviation from the average cognitive trajectory observed in 22q11DS were at significantly increased risk for the development of a psychotic disorder (odds ratio = 2.49; 95% CI, 1.24-5.00; P = .01). The divergence of verbal IQ trajectories between those who subsequently developed a psychotic disorder and those who did not was distinguishable from age 11 years onward. In 22q11DS, early cognitive decline is a robust indicator of the risk of developing a psychotic illness. These findings mirror those observed in idiopathic schizophrenia. The results provide further support for investigations of 22q11DS as a genetic model for elucidating neurobiological mechanisms underlying the development of psychosis.JAMA Psychiatry 02/2015; DOI:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.2671 · 12.01 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study began more than four decades ago. Unusual at the time, it was founded as a multidisciplinary research enterprise, and was strongly supported by the Dunedin community, both professional and lay, in its early years. Seven research themes have evolved over the past 40 years focusing on mental health and neuro-cognition, cardiovascular risk, respiratory health, oral health, sexual and reproductive health, and psychosocial functioning. A seventh, more applied theme, seeks to maximise the value of the Study findings for New Zealand's indigenous people-Māori (or tangata whenua transl people of the land). The study has published over 1200 papers and reports to date, with almost 2/3 of these being in peer-reviewed journals. Here we provide an overview of the study, its history, leadership structure, scientific approach, operational foci, and some recent examples of work that illustrate the following: (a) the value of multidisciplinary data; (b) how the study is well positioned to address contemporary issues; and (c) how research can simultaneously address multiple audiences-from researchers and theoreticians to policy makers and practitioners. Near-future research plans are described, and we end by reflecting upon the core aspects of the study that portend future useful contributions.Social Psychiatry 04/2015; 50(5). DOI:10.1007/s00127-015-1048-8 · 2.58 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Neuropathological changes of the hippocampus have been associated with psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Recent work has particularly implicated hippocampal GABAergic interneurons in the pathophysiology of these diseases. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying structural and cellular hippocampal pathology remain poorly understood. We used data from comprehensive difference-in-gel electrophoresis (2-D DIGE) investigations of postmortem human hippocampus of people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, covering the acidic (isoelectric point (pI) between pH4 and 7) and, separately, the basic (pI between pH6 and 11) sub-proteome, for Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) of implicated protein networks and pathways. Comparing disease and control cases, we identified 58 unique differentially expressed proteins in schizophrenia, and 70 differentially expressed proteins in bipolar disorder, using mass spectrometry. IPA implicated, most prominently, 14-3-3 and aryl hydrocarbon receptor signaling in schizophrenia, and gluconeogenesis/glycolysis in bipolar disorder. Both disorders were characterized by alterations of proteins involved in the oxidative stress response, mitochondrial function, and protein-endocytosis, -trafficking, -degradation, and -ubiquitination. These findings are interpreted with a focus on GABAergic interneuron pathology in the hippocampus. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.Schizophrenia Research 02/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.schres.2015.02.002 · 4.43 Impact Factor