Early treatment-induced improvement of negative symptoms predicts cognitive functioning in treatment-naïve first episode schizophrenia: A 2-year followup

Daniel Schuepbach, S. Kristian Hill, Richard D. Sanders, Daniel Hell, Matcheri S. Keshavan, John A. Sweeney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Studying neuroleptic-naïve first episode schizophrenia is a strategy for investigating clinical and neuropsychological abnormalities at a very early phase of the disease without confounding influences of illness duration and medication effects. We examined the clinical and neuropsychological time course over 2 years in 32 neuroleptic-naïve first episode patients (20 males, 12 females) and 21 healthy individuals with similar sociodemographic characteristics. Early treatment-induced reduction of negative symptoms predicted superior cognitive performance throughout followup in the domains of verbal fluency, attention, and non-verbal learning and memory. There were no associations between psychotic or disorganized symptoms and cognitive variables. These findings suggest an important relationship between treatment efficacy of antipsychotic medication and the longer term course of cognitive deficits in schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)837-848
Number of pages12
JournalSchizophrenia bulletin
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004

Keywords

  • Followup
  • Learning
  • Neuropsychology
  • Schizophrenia
  • Verbal memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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