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.
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The authors' goal was to examine whether the postpsychotic decline in full scale IQ during adolescence for patients with childhood-onset schizophrenia is due to a dementing process or simply failure to acquire new information and skills. Linear regression was used to determine the rate of change for scaled and raw scores on subtests of 31 patients with childhood-onset schizophrenia. The resulting slopes were examined and related to changes in the patients' brains determined by magnetic resonance imaging. Three postpsychotic subtest scaled scores declined significantly: picture arrangement, information, and block design. In contrast, there was no decline in the non-age-corrected (raw) scores for any subtest. A significant correlation was found between decrease in hippocampal volume and a smaller increase in raw score on the information subtest. The decline during adolescence in the full-scale IQ of patients with childhood-onset schizophrenia does not reflect dementia but, rather, an inability to acquire new information and abilities.American Journal of Psychiatry 01/2000; 156(12):1996-7. · 14.72 Impact Factor
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The lack of an accepted standard for measuring cognitive change in schizophrenia has been a major obstacle to regulatory approval of cognition-enhancing treatments. A primary mandate of the National Institute of Mental Health's Measurement and Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (MATRICS) initiative was to develop a consensus cognitive battery for clinical trials of cognition-enhancing treatments for schizophrenia through a broadly based scientific evaluation of measures. The MATRICS Neurocognition Committee evaluated more than 90 tests in seven cognitive domains to identify the 36 most promising measures. A separate expert panel evaluated the degree to which each test met specific selection criteria. Twenty tests were selected as a beta battery. The beta battery was administered to 176 individuals with schizophrenia and readministered to 167 of them 4 weeks later so that the 20 tests could be compared directly. The expert panel ratings are presented for the initially selected 36 tests. For the beta battery tests, data on test-retest reliability, practice effects, relationships to functional status, practicality, and tolerability are presented. Based on these data, 10 tests were selected to represent seven cognitive domains in the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery. The structured consensus method was a feasible and fair mechanism for choosing candidate tests, and direct comparison of beta battery tests in a common sample allowed selection of a final consensus battery. The MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery is expected to be the standard tool for assessing cognitive change in clinical trials of cognition-enhancing drugs for schizophrenia. It may also aid evaluation of cognitive remediation strategies.American Journal of Psychiatry 03/2008; 165(2):203-13. · 14.72 Impact Factor
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Subtle behavioral and intellectual abnormalities are often present in apparently healthy adolescents who later develop schizophrenia. The authors investigated whether these abnormalities can predict vulnerability for schizophrenia before the first psychotic manifestation. The study consisted of linking the Israeli Draft Board Registry with the National Psychiatric Hospitalization Case Registry. The draft board tests measure intelligence, social functioning, organizational ability, interest in physical activity, and individual autonomy. Patients (N = 509) were compared to nonpatients, i.e., adolescents not appearing in the National Psychiatric Registry (N = 9,215), matched to patients by age, gender, and school attended at time of testing. Healthy male adolescents who were later hospitalized for schizophrenia had significantly lower test scores on all measures than adolescents not reported to the National Psychiatric Registry. The strongest predictors for schizophrenia were deficits in social functioning, organizational ability, and intellectual functioning. When patients were compared to matched nonpatients, the prediction model had a 75% sensitivity, a 100% specificity, a positive predictive value of 72%, and an overall rate of correct classification of 87.5%. Applied to the Israeli Draft Board Registry, the model yielded a sensitivity of 74.7%, a validated specificity of 99.7%, and a positive predictive value of 42.7%. This study demonstrated that simple assessment tools can predict predisposition to schizophrenia in healthy male adolescents. The model's predictive ability does not change as a function of the time elapsed between testing and first hospitalization. This suggests that the model identifies apparently healthy individuals who will manifest the disease later who are not prodromal to psychosis. Easily applied tools allowing early identification of schizophrenia or vulnerability to it may enable early intervention.American Journal of Psychiatry 10/1999; 156(9):1328-35. · 14.72 Impact Factor