Neurocognitive predictors of remission of symptoms and social and role functioning in the early course of first-episode schizophrenia
In a Norwegian ongoing longitudinal study, we investigate the neurocognitive development in first-episode schizophrenia patients, and the influence of neurocognition on remission and real life functioning. In the present study, results from the early course of illness are reported.
The sample includes 28 schizophrenia spectrum patients and 28 pairwise matched healthy controls. The patients were recruited from mental health service institutions and data on psychosocial functioning, remission and neurocognition were obtained through a clinical interview, an inventory on social and role functioning, operational criteria of remission, and a standardized neurocognitive test battery, the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB).
Large effect size differences between patients and controls were observed at baseline on every cognitive domain, as well as statistically significant improvements on overall cognitive function at follow-up for the patient group. A remission rate of 61% was found. The neurocognitive baseline measure of Attention significantly predicted remission status at follow-up, whereas Attention and Working Memory at baseline predicted levels of social and role functioning.
In the early course of the illness, more than half of the group of first-episode patients were in remission, and neurocognitive functions are significantly associated with both remission of symptoms and social and role functioning.
Psychiatry Research, 2014, doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2014.01.031