Research
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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Expertises

Psychiatry; cognition; cognition in schizophrenia; cognitive development; illness trajectories in schizophrenia; longitudinal outcome in schizophrenia,

Main research areas

Psychiatry; neuropsychiatry; neuropsychology; cognitive abilities in psychiatric disorders; schizophrenia research; longitudinal development of schizophrenia; linking cognition and psychopathology in schizophrenia; remission in schizophrenia; illness trajectories in schizophrenia; diagnostic criteria and illness development in schizophrenia; development of set-shifting abilities in patients with schizophrenia;

Current research

In our current research project we are investigating the association between longitudinal changes (7-16 years) in cognition and brain structure in patients with schizophrenia and their long-term functional outcome.There is evidence of progressive gray matter loss after illness onset in schizophrenia, but with considerable variability. This has led to the theory of underlying neuropathological processes both before and after illness onset and leading to variable degrees of brain volume loss. Insufficient cognitive maturation in adolescence and excessive age-related cognitive decline in old age have been found in schizophrenia. There is some evidence for progressive decline of certain functions (e.g. specific memory functions) in some patients signifying a possible downwards illness trajectory. In this prospective longitudinal follow-up study we re-examined 37 patients with schizophrenia and 47 healthy controls with a follow-up period of 7-16 years. The patients were included at baseline in connection with their first psychotic episode and before they had received any antipsychotic medication. The methods include: MRI-scans, cognitive testing, psychophysiology (early information processing), genetic testing, rating scales (including psychopathology, global level of functioning) and somatic examination.

Potential conflicts of interest

None

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