Skip to main content Accessibility help

Verbal fluency as a possible predictor for psychosis

  • H.E. Becker (a1), D.H. Nieman (a1), P.M. Dingemans (a1), J.R. van de Fliert (a1), L. De Haan (a1) and D.H. Linszen (a1)...



Neurocognitive abnormalities are prevalent in both first episode schizophrenia patients and in ultra high risk (UHR) patients.


To compare verbal fluency performance at baseline in UHR in patients that did and did not make the transition to psychosis.


Baseline verbal fluency performance in UHR-patients (n = 47) was compared to match first episode patients (n = 69) and normal controls (n = 42).


Verbal fluency (semantic category) scores in UHR-patients did not differ significantly from the score in first episode schizophrenia patients. Both the UHR group (p < 0.003) and the patient group (p < 0.0001) performed significantly worse than controls. Compared to the non-transition group, the transition group performed worse on verbal fluency, semantic category (p < 0.006) at baseline.


Verbal fluency (semantic category) is disturbed in UHR-patients that make the transition to psychosis and could contribute to an improved prediction of transition to psychosis in UHR-patients.


Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Tel.: +31 20 8913570; fax: +31 20 8913536. E-mail address: (H.E. Becker).


Hide All
[1]Albus, M., Mohr, F., Hecht, S., Hinterberger-Weber, P., Seitz, N.N., Küchenhoff, H.Neurocognitive functioning in patients with first episode schizophrenia: results of a prospective 5-year follow-up study. Eur Arch Psychiat Clin Neurosci. 2006; 256(7): 442451.
[2]Andrews, G., Peters, L.The psychometric properties of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Soc Psychiatr Epidemiol 1998; 33: 8088.
[3]Brewer, W., Francey, S., Wood, S., Jackson, H., Pantelis, C., Philips, al. Memory impairments identified in people at ultra high risk for psychosis who later develop first episode psychosis. Am J Psychiat 2005; 162: 7178.
[4]Byrne, M., Clafferty, R., Cosway, R., Grant, E., Hodges, A., Whalley, al. Neuropsychology, genetic liability and psychosis in those at high risk for schizophrenia. J Abnormal Psychol 2002; 160: 20602062.
[5]Cornblatt, B., Lencz, T., Smith, C., Correll, C., Auther, A., Nakayama, E.The schizophrenia prodrome revisited: a neuro-developmental perspective. Schizophr Bull. 2003; 29(4): 633651.
[6]Cosway, R., Byrne, M., Clafferty, R., Hodges, A., Grant, E., Morris, al. Sustained attention in young people at high risk for schizophrenia. Psychol Med 2002; 32: 277286.
[7]Eastvold, A., Heaton, R., Cadanhead, K.Neurocognitive deficits in the (putative) prodromal and first episode of psychosis. Schizophr Res 2007; 93: 266277.
[8]Ehlis, A., Herrmann, A., Plichta, M., Fallgatter, A.Cortical activation during two verbal fluency tasks in schizophrenic patients and healthy controls as assessed by multi-channel near-infrared spectroscopy. Psychiatr Res. 2007; 156(1): 113.
[9]Francey, S.M., Jackson, H.J., Phillips, L.J., Wood, S.J., Yung, A.R., McGorry, P.D.Sustained attention in young people at high risk of psychosis does not predict transition to psychosis. Schizophr Res 2005; 79: 127136.
[10]Hambrecht, M., Lammertink, M., Klosterkotter, J., Matuschek, E., Pukrop, R.Subjective and objective neuropsychological abnormalities in a psychosis prodrome clinic. Br J Psychiatr. 2002; 181(suppl. 43): 3037.
[11]Hawkins, K.A., Addington, J., Keefe, R.S.E., Christensen, B., Perkins, D.O., Zipursky, al. Neuropsychological status of subjects at high risk for a first episode of psychosis. Schizophr Res 2004; 67: 115122.
[12]Kay, S.R., Opler, S.A., Lindemeijer, J.P.The positive and Negative Symptom Scale: rationale and standardization. Br J Psychiat Suppl(7)1989 5967.
[13]Klosterkotter, J., Hellmich, M., Steinmeyer, E.M., Schultze-Lutter, F.Diagnosing schizophrenia in the initial prodromal phase. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2001; 58(2): 158164.
[14]Lencz, T., Smith, C.W., Maclaughlin, D., Auther, A., Nakayama, E., Hovey, al. Generalized and specific neurocognitive deficits in prodromal schizophrenia. Biol Psychiatr 2006; 559: 863871.
[15]Miller, T.J., McGlashan, T.H., Rosen, J.L., Somjee, L., Markovich, P.J., Stein, al. Prospective diagnosis of the initial prodrome for schizophrenia based on the Structured Interview for Prodromal Syndromes: preliminary evidence of interrater reliability and predictive validity. Am J Psychiatr. 2002; 159(5): 863865.
[16]Pukrop, R., Ruhrmann, S., Schultze-Lutter, F., Bechdolf, A., Brockhaus-Dumke, A., Klosterkotter, J.Neurocognitive indicators for a conversion to psychosis: Comparison of patients in a potentially initial prodromal state who did or did not convert to a psychosis. Schizophr Res 2007; 92: 116125.
[17]Ruiz-Veguilla, M., Gurpegui, M., Barrigón, M., Ferrín, M., Marín, E., Rubio, al. Fewer neurological soft signs among first episode psychosis patients with heavy cannabis use. Schizophr Res 2009; 107: 158164.
[18]Rund, B.A review of longitudal studies of cognitive functions in schizophrenia patients. Schizophr Res. 1998; 24(3): 425435.
[19]Spitzer, R.L., Williams, J.B., Gibbon, M., First, M.B.The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R (SCID) I: History, rationale, and description. Arch Gen Psychiatr. 1992; 49(8): 624629.
[20]Velthorst, E., Nieman, D.H., Becker, H.E., van de Fliert, R., Dingemans, P.M., Klaassen, al. Baseline differences in clinical symptomatology between ultra high risk subjects with and without a transition to psychosis. Schizophr Res. 2009; 109(1-3): 6065.
[21]Watanabe, A., Kato, T.Cerebrovascular response to cognitive tasks in patients with schizophrenia measured by near-infrared spectroscopy. Schizophr Bull 2004; 30: 435444.
[22]Wood, S., Pantelis, C., Proffitt, T., Philips, L., Stuart, W., Buchanan, al. Spatial working memory ability is a marker of risk for psychosis. Psychol Med 2003; 33: 12391249.


Verbal fluency as a possible predictor for psychosis

  • H.E. Becker (a1), D.H. Nieman (a1), P.M. Dingemans (a1), J.R. van de Fliert (a1), L. De Haan (a1) and D.H. Linszen (a1)...


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.

Verbal fluency as a possible predictor for psychosis

  • H.E. Becker (a1), D.H. Nieman (a1), P.M. Dingemans (a1), J.R. van de Fliert (a1), L. De Haan (a1) and D.H. Linszen (a1)...
Submit a response


No Comments have been published for this article.


Reply to: Submit a response

Your details

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *