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: In addition to its central role in learning and memory, N-methyl D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR)-dependent signaling regulates central glutamatergic synapse maturation and has been implicated in schizophrenia. We have transiently induced NMDAR hypofunction in infant mice during post-natal days 7-11, followed by testing fear memory specificity and presynaptic plasticity in the prefrontal cortex in adult mice. We show that transient NMDAR hypofunction during early brain development, coinciding with the maturation of cortical plasticity results in a loss of an endocannabinoid (eCB)-mediated form of long-term plasticity (eCB-LTD) at adult central glutamatergic synapses, while another form of presynaptic plasticity mediated by the metabotropic glutamate receptor 2/3 (mGluR2/3-LTD) remains intact. Mice with this selective impairment of presynaptic plasticity also showed deficits in fear memory specificity. The observed deficit in cortical presynaptic plasticity may represent a neural maladaptation contributing to network instability and abnormal cognitive functioning.Neuropsychopharmacology accepted article preview online, 24 January 2014. doi:10.1038/npp.2014.15.Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 01/2014; · 8.68 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Schizophrenia might be considered a neurodevelopmental disease. However, the fundamental process(es) associated with this disease remain(s) uncertain. Many lines of evidence suggest that schizophrenia is associated with excessive stimulation of dopamine D2 receptors in the associative striatum, with a lack of stimulation of dopamine D1 receptors in prefrontal cortex, and with modifications in prefrontal neuronal connectivity involving glutamate transmission at N-methyl aspartate (NMDA) receptors. This article, whilst briefly discussing the current knowledge of the disease, mainly concentrates on the NMDA hypofunction hypothesis. However, there are also potential consequences for a Dopamine imbalance on NMDA function. Thus, it is proposed that schizophrenia has a complex aetiology associated with strongly interconnected aberrations of dopamine and glutamate transmission.Current Opinion in Pharmacology 02/2014; 14C:97-102. · 5.44 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Multi-site neuroimaging studies offer an efficient means to study brain functioning in large samples of individuals with rare conditions; however, they present new challenges given that aggregating data across sites introduces additional variability into measures of interest. Assessing the reliability of brain activation across study sites and comparing statistical methods for pooling functional data is critical to ensuring the validity of aggregating data across sites. The current study used two samples of healthy individuals to assess the feasibility and reliability of aggregating multi-site functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data from a Sternberg-style verbal working memory task. Participants were recruited as part of the North American Prodrome Longitudinal Study (NAPLS), which comprises eight fMRI scanning sites across the United States and Canada. In the first study sample (n=8), one participant from each home site traveled to each of the sites and was scanned while completing the task on two consecutive days. Reliability was examined using generalizability theory. Results indicated that blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal was reproducible across sites and was highly reliable, or generalizable, across scanning sites and testing days for core working memory ROIs (generalizability ICCs=0.81 for left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, 0.95 for left superior parietal cortex). In the second study sample (n=154), two statistical methods for aggregating fMRI data across sites for all healthy individuals recruited as control participants in the NAPLS study were compared. Control participants were scanned on one occasion at the site from which they were recruited. Results from the image-based meta-analysis (IBMA) method and mixed effects model with site covariance method both showed robust activation in expected regions (i.e. dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, supplementary motor cortex, superior parietal cortex, inferior temporal cortex, cerebellum, thalamus, basal ganglia). Quantification of the similarity of group maps from these methods confirmed a very high (96%) degree of spatial overlap in results. Thus, brain activation during working memory function was reliable across the NAPLS sites and both the IBMA and mixed effects model with site covariance methods appear to be valid approaches for aggregating data across sites. These findings indicate that multi-site functional neuroimaging can offer a reliable means to increase power and generalizability of results when investigating brain function in rare populations and support the multi-site investigation of working memory function in the NAPLS study, in particular.NeuroImage 04/2014; · 6.25 Impact Factor