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Executive functioning in schizophrenia and the relationship with symptom profile and chronicity



This study reports the executive function profile in people with schizophrenia, with a simultaneous comparison of chronicity and of those with predominately disorganization versus psychomotor poverty symptoms. The patients were split into one set defined according to symptoms (29 with disorganization, 29 with negative symptoms) and the other representing chronicity (22 first-episode, 35 chronic) and compared with 28 healthy controls on a broad range of executive process measures. Differences were investigated in both the severity and profile of impairments. Impairment patterns interacted with symptom groups, with disorganization and psychomotor poverty symptom groups showing different profiles of executive impairment. In contrast, across these same executive processes, impairment profiles were similar between first episode and chronic schizophrenia and became more similar, particularly for working memory, when controlling for disorganization symptoms. The executive profile, therefore, is related to symptom type rather than chronicity. (JINS, 2008, 14, 782–792.)

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Corresponding author

Correspondence and reprint requests to: Kathryn E. Greenwood, Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK. E-mail:


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