Prevalence and profile of cognitive deficits in a cohort of first-episode antipsychotic-naïve schizophrenia patients
M Høj Jensen, B Y Glenthøj, M Ødegaard Nielsen, S Wulff, B Fagerlund.
Lundbeck Foundation Centre for Clinical Intervention and Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research, Psychiatric Centre Glostrup, Copenhagen University Hospital Glostrup, Nordre Ringvej 29-67, 2600 Glostrup, Denmark

Background and aims: Cognitive deficits are considered a core feature of schizophrenia with prevalence estimates ranging from ca. 75-85 %. These deficits are present in the early phase of the illness; however in most first-episode schizophrenia studies the patients are receiving antipsychotic medication, which can affect the results on specific domains such as processing speed. As part of the PECANS project (Pan European Collaboration on Antipsychotic Naïve Schizophrenia) the aim of the present study is to establish the prevalence and profile of cognitive deficits in a cohort of first-episode antipsychotic-naïve schizophrenia patients, without the potential confounding effects associated with medication and chronicity.
Methods: The overall design of the PECANS project is a 2-year longitudinal case-control study with assessment at baseline and follow-ups after 6 weeks, 6 months, 1 and 2 years. Sixty first-episode antipsychotic-naïve schizophrenia patients and 60 matched healthy controls have been examined at baseline. The study uses several instruments, including BACS (Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia) and CANTAB (Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery). Premorbid intelligence is estimated using DART (Danish Adult Reading Test) and current intelligence is estimated from 4 subtests from WAIS-III (Wechsler´s Adult Intelligence Scale, 3rd ed.). Psychopathology ratings are obtained using PANSS (Positive and Negative Symptom Scale).
Results: Preliminary analyses show significant deficits in almost all cognitive domains assessed with effect sizes ranging between 0.5 to 1.2 standard deviations below the average of the healthy controls. The prevalence and profile of these deficits and their relation to psychopathology will be presented in further detail.
Conclusion: Comprehensive cognitive deficits across several cognitive domains are prevalent in schizophrenia patients from the time of their first episode, before initiation of antipsychotic medication.
TidsskriftSchizophrenia Research
Udgave nummerSuppl. 1
Sider (fra-til)326
Antal sider1
StatusUdgivet - apr. 2014
Begivenhed4th Schizophrenia International Research Society Conference - Firenze Fiera Congress Center, Firenze, Italien
Varighed: 5 apr. 20149 apr. 2014


Konference4th Schizophrenia International Research Society Conference
LokationFirenze Fiera Congress Center


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