Schizophrenic patients without neuropsychological deficits: subgroup, disease severity or cognitive compensation?

EAE Holthausen*, D Wiersma, MM Sitskoorn, R Hijman, PM Dingemans, AH Schene, RJ van den Bosch

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    63 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Some schizophrenic patients do not show clinically relevant cognitive deficits. The question remains whether this represents the existence of an etiologically different subgroup, a general effect of disease severity or whether their cognitive deficits do not reach a clinical threshold due to a greater cognitive compensation ('brain reserve') capacity. A group of 23 out of 118 first onset patients was identified as cognitively normal (CN). The cognitive profile of these patients was compared with that of 45 healthy controls. Next these patients were compared with the cognitively impaired (0) patients on obstetric complications (OCs), premorbid adjustment, age at onset, Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale ratings, social functioning and substance abuse. In addition both groups were compared on intelligence and educational level as indirect indicators of cognitive compensation capacity. There were no differences in OCs, premorbid adjustment, age at onset, psychopathology or substance abuse between the two patient groups. There was a significant difference in social functioning, which is a consequence rather than a cause of cognitive deficits. However, the CN patients scored significantly higher on measures of intelligence and educational level than the CI patients. This suggests that a difference in cognitive compensation capacity could explain the existence of a CN patient group. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberPII S0165-1781(02)00184-1
    Pages (from-to)1-11
    Number of pages11
    JournalPsychiatry Research
    Volume112
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 15-Sep-2002

    Keywords

    • cognition
    • neuropsychology
    • schizophrenia
    • MONOZYGOTIC TWINS DISCORDANT
    • BRAIN RESERVE
    • NEUROCOGNITIVE DEFICITS
    • ALZHEIMERS-DISEASE
    • WORKING-MEMORY
    • SYMPTOMS
    • COMPLICATIONS
    • DYSFUNCTION
    • IMPAIRMENT
    • DISORDER

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