Neuropsychological evidence for abnormal neurodevelopment associated with early-onset psychoses

Journal article


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Publication Details

Author list: Bombin I
Publisher: Cambridge University Press (CUP): STM Journals
Publication year: 2013
Volume number: 43
Issue number: 4
Start page: 757
End page: 768
Number of pages: 12
ISSN: 0033-2917
Languages: English-Great Britain (EN-GB)


Background The longitudinal neuropsychological study of first-episode
early-onset psychosis (EOP) patients, whose brain maturation is still in
progress at the time of illness onset, provides a unique opportunity to
compare their cognitive development with that of healthy subjects, in
search of specific patterns resulting from the interaction between
neurodevelopmental processes and the presence of psychotic disorders.
Method Seventy-five first-episode EOP patients (schizophrenia nâ =â 35;
bipolar disorder nâ =â 17; other forms of psychosis nâ =â 23) with a
mean age of 15.53 years were assessed with a neuropsychological battery
that included measures of attention, working memory, memory and
executive functions within 6 months following the onset of the first
psychotic symptom (baseline) and 2 years later. Psychotic symptoms were
assessed at both times with the Positive and Negative Symptom Scale
(PANSS). Seventy-nine healthy subjects matched for age and education
served as controls. Results EOP patients showed significant cognitive
impairment at both baseline and the 2-year follow-up, with no
significant differences between diagnostic groups at either time. Both
healthy controls and EOP patients improved in all cognitive measures,
except for patient working memory. Improvement in patient attention lost
significance after controlling for psychotic symptom reduction. No
significant time/diagnosis interaction was found among patients (pâ
>â 0.405). Conclusions Cognitive impairment in EOP is already present
at the first episode, and cognitive development seems to be arrested
early in EOP patients compared to their healthy peers, at least for some
cognitive functions. These and previous similar results support the
neurodevelopmental hypothesis of psychosis.


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Last updated on 2019-13-08 at 00:45