BACKGROUND: Studies of neurocognitive heterogeneity in young children at familial high-risk of bipolar disorder (FHR-BP) or schizophrenia (FHR-SZ) are important to investigate inter-individual neurocognitive differences. We aimed to identify neurocognitive subgroups, describe prevalence of FHR-BP or FHR-SZ children herein, and examine risk ratios (RR) compared with controls.

METHODS: In a population-based cohort of 514 7-year-old children (197 FHR-SZ, 118 FHR-BP, and 199 matched controls) we used hierarchical cluster analyses to identify subgroups across 14 neurocognitive indices.

RESULTS: Three neurocognitive subgroups were derived: A Mildly Impaired (30%), Typical (51%), and Above Average subgroup (19%). The Mildly Impaired subgroup significantly underperformed controls (Cohen d = 0.11-1.45; Ps < .001) except in set-shifting (P = .84). FHR-SZ children were significantly more prevalent in the Mildly Impaired subgroup; FHR-BP children were more so in the Above Average subgroup (X2 (2, N= 315) = 9.64, P < .01). 79.7% FHR-BP and 64.6% FHR-SZ children demonstrated typical or above average neurocognitive functions. Neurocognitive heterogeneity related significantly to concurrent functioning, psychopathology severity, home environment adequacy, and polygenic scores for schizophrenia (Ps <. 01). Compared with controls, FHR-SZ and FHR-BP children had a 93% (RR, 1.93; 95% CI, 1.40-2.64) and 8% (RR, 1.08; 95% CI, 0.71-1.66) increased risk of Mildly Impaired subgroup membership.

LIMITATIONS: Limitations include the cross-sectional design and smaller FHR-BP sample size.

CONCLUSIONS: Identification of neurocognitive heterogeneity in preadolescent children at FHR-BP or FHR-SZ may ease stigma and enable pre-emptive interventions to enhance neurocognitive functioning and resilience to mental illness in the impaired sub-population.

TidsskriftJournal of Affective Disorders
Sider (fra-til)214-223
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - 1 apr. 2022


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