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Evidence suggests that early trauma may have a negative effect on cognitive functioning in individuals with psychosis, yet the relationship between childhood trauma and cognition among those at clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis remains unexplored. Our sample consisted of 626 CHR children and 279 healthy controls who were recruited as part of the North American Prodrome Longitudinal Study 2. Childhood trauma up to the age of 16 (psychological, physical, and sexual abuse, emotional neglect, and bullying) was assessed by using the Childhood Trauma and Abuse Scale. Multiple domains of cognition were measured at baseline and at the time of psychosis conversion, using standardized assessments. In the CHR group, there was a trend for better performance in individuals who reported a history of multiple types of childhood trauma compared with those with no/one type of trauma (Cohen d = 0.16). A history of multiple trauma types was not associated with greater cognitive change in CHR converters over time. Our findings tentatively suggest there may be different mechanisms that lead to CHR states. Individuals who are at clinical high risk who have experienced multiple types of childhood trauma may have more typically developing premorbid cognitive functioning than those who reported minimal trauma do. Further research is needed to unravel the complexity of factors underlying the development of at-risk states.
Objectives: Studies suggest that impairments in some of the same domains of cognition occur in different neuropsychiatric conditions, including those known to share genetic liability. Yet, direct, multi-disorder cognitive comparisons are limited, and it remains unclear whether overlapping deficits are due to comorbidity. We aimed to extend the literature by examining cognition across different neuropsychiatric conditions and addressing comorbidity. Methods: Subjects were 486 youth consecutively referred for neuropsychiatric evaluation and enrolled in the Longitudinal Study of Genetic Influences on Cognition. First, we assessed general ability, reaction time variability (RTV), and aspects of executive functions (EFs) in youth with non-comorbid forms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), mood disorders and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), as well as in youth with psychosis. Second, we determined the impact of comorbid ADHD on cognition in youth with ASD and mood disorders. Results: For EFs (working memory, inhibition, and shifting/ flexibility), we observed weaknesses in all diagnostic groups when participants’ own ability was the referent. Decrements were subtle in relation to published normative data. For RTV, weaknesses emerged in youth with ADHD and mood disorders, but trend-level results could not rule out decrements in other conditions. Comorbidity with ADHD did not impact the pattern of weaknesses for youth with ASD or mood disorders but increased the magnitude of the decrement in those with mood disorders. Conclusions: Youth with ADHD, mood disorders, ASD, and psychosis show EF weaknesses that are not due to comorbidity. Whether such cognitive difficulties reflect genetic liability shared among these conditions requires further study. (JINS, 2018, 24, 91–103)
Objectives: Evidence suggests that Alzheimer’s disease (AD) biomarkers become abnormal many years before the emergence of clinical symptoms of AD, raising the possibility that biomarker levels measured in cognitively normal individuals would be associated with cognitive performance many years later. This study examined whether performance on computerized cognitive tests is associated with levels of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers of amyloid, tau, and phosphorylated tau (p-tau) obtained approximately 10 years earlier, when individuals were cognitively normal and primarily middle-aged. Methods: Individuals from the BIOCARD cohort (mean age at testing=69 years) were tested on two computerized tasks hypothesized to rely on brain regions affected by the early accumulation of AD pathology: (1) a Paired Associates Learning (PAL) task (n=67) and (2) a visual search task (n=86). Results: In regression analyses, poorer performance on the PAL task was associated with higher levels of CSF p-tau obtained years earlier, whereas worse performance in the visual search task was associated with lower levels of CSF Aβ1-42. Conclusions: These findings suggest that AD biomarker levels may be differentially predictive of specific cognitive functions many years later. In line with the pattern of early accumulation of AD pathology, the PAL task, hypothesized to rely on medial temporal lobe function, was associated with CSF p-tau, whereas the visual search task, hypothesized to rely on frontoparietal function, was associated with CSF amyloid. Studies using amyloid and tau PET imaging will be useful in examining these hypothesized relationships further. (JINS, 2016, 22, 968–977)
Objectives: Intraindividual cognitive variability (IICV) has been shown to differentiate between groups with normal cognition, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and dementia. This study examined whether baseline IICV predicted subsequent mild to moderate cognitive impairment in a cognitively normal baseline sample. Methods: Participants with 4 waves of cognitive assessment were drawn from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention (WRAP; n=684; 53.6(6.6) baseline age; 9.1(1.0) years follow-up; 70% female; 74.6% parental history of Alzheimer’s disease). The primary outcome was Wave 4 cognitive status (“cognitively normal” vs. “impaired”) determined by consensus conference; “impaired” included early MCI (n=109), clinical MCI (n=11), or dementia (n=1). Primary predictors included two IICV variables, each based on the standard deviation of a set of scores: “6 Factor IICV” and “4 Test IICV”. Each IICV variable was tested in a series of logistic regression models to determine whether IICV predicted cognitive status. In exploratory analyses, distribution-based cutoffs incorporating memory, executive function, and IICV patterns were used to create and test an MCI risk variable. Results: Results were similar for the IICV variables: higher IICV was associated with greater risk of subsequent impairment after covariate adjustment. After adjusting for memory and executive functioning scores contributing to IICV, IICV was not significant. The MCI risk variable also predicted risk of impairment. Conclusions: While IICV in middle-age predicts subsequent impairment, it is a weaker risk indicator than the memory and executive function scores contributing to its calculation. Exploratory analyses suggest potential to incorporate IICV patterns into risk assessment in clinical settings. (JINS, 2016, 22, 1016–1025)
Objectives: We examined florbetapir positron emission tomography (PET) amyloid scans across stages of preclinical Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in cortical, allocortical, and subcortical regions. Stages were characterized using empirically defined methods. Methods: A total of 312 cognitively normal Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative participants completed a neuropsychological assessment and florbetapir PET scan. Participants were classified into stages of preclinical AD using (1) a novel approach based on the number of abnormal biomarkers/cognitive markers each individual possessed, and (2) National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association (NIA-AA) criteria. Preclinical AD groups were compared to one another and to a mild cognitive impairment (MCI) sample on florbetapir standardized uptake value ratios (SUVRs) in cortical and allocortical/subcortical regions of interest (ROIs). Results: Amyloid deposition increased across stages of preclinical AD in all cortical ROIs, with SUVRs in the later stages reaching levels seen in MCI. Several subcortical areas showed a pattern of results similar to the cortical regions; however, SUVRs in the hippocampus, pallidum, and thalamus largely did not differ across stages of preclinical AD. Conclusions: Substantial amyloid accumulation in cortical areas has already occurred before one meets criteria for a clinical diagnosis. Potential explanations for the unexpected pattern of results in some allocortical/subcortical ROIs include lack of correspondence between (1) cerebrospinal fluid and florbetapir PET measures of amyloid, or between (2) subcortical florbetapir PET SUVRs and underlying neuropathology. Findings support the utility of our novel method for staging preclinical AD. By combining imaging biomarkers with detailed cognitive assessment to better characterize preclinical AD, we can advance our understanding of who is at risk for future progression. (JINS, 2016, 22, 978–990)
Objectives: Relatively few studies have investigated relationships between performance on clinical memory measures and indexes of underlying neuropathology related to Alzheimer’s disease (AD). This study investigated predictive relationships between Free and Cued Selective Reminding Test (FCSRT) cue efficiency (CE) and free-recall (FR) measures and brain amyloid levels, hippocampal volume (HV), and regional cortical thickness. Methods: Thirty-one older controls without memory complaints and 60 patients presenting memory complaints underwent the FCSRT, amyloid imaging using [F18]-flutemetamol positron emission tomography, and surface-based morphometry (SBM) using brain magnetic resonance imaging. Three groups were considered: patients with high (Aβ+P) and low (Aβ− P) amyloid load and controls with low amyloid load (Aβ− C). Results: Aβ+P showed lower CE than both Aβ− groups, but the Aβ− groups did not differ significantly. In contrast, FR discriminated all groups. SBM analyses revealed that CE indexes were correlated with the cortical thickness of a wider set of left-lateralized temporal and parietal regions than FR. Regression analyses demonstrated that amyloid load and left HV independently predicted FCSRT scores. Moreover, CE indexes were predicted by the cortical thickness of some regions involved in early AD, such as the entorhinal cortex. Conclusions: Compared to FR measures, CE indexes appear to be more specific for differentiating persons on the basis of amyloid load. Both CE and FR performance were predicted independently by brain amyloid load and reduced left HV. However, CE performance was also predicted by the cortical thickness of regions known to be atrophic early in AD. (JINS, 2016, 22, 991–1004)
Objectives: The aim of this study was to demonstrate the utility of an evidence-based assessment (EBA) model to establish a multimodal set of tools for identifying students at risk for perceived post-injury academic problems. Methods: Participants included 142 students diagnosed with concussion (age: M=14.95; SD=1.80; 59% male), evaluated within 4 weeks of injury (median=16 days). Demographics, pre-injury history, self- and parent-report measures assessing symptom severity and executive functions, and cognitive test performance were examined as predictors of self-reported post-injury academic problems. Results: Latent class analysis categorized participants into “high” (44%) and “low” (56%) levels of self-reported academic problems. Receiver operating characteristic analyses revealed significant discriminative validity for self- and parent-reported symptom severity and executive dysfunction and self-reported exertional response for identifying students reporting low versus high academic problems. Parent-reported symptom ratings [area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC)=.79] and executive dysfunction (AUC=.74), and self-reported ratings of executive dysfunction (AUC=.84), symptoms (AUC=.80), and exertional response (AUC=.70) each classified students significantly better than chance (ps<.001). Hierarchical logistic regression indicated that, of the above, self-reported symptoms and executive dysfunction accounted for the most variance in the prediction of self-reported academic problems. Conclusions: Post-concussion symptom severity and executive dysfunction significantly predict perceived post-injury academic problems. EBA modeling identified the strongest set of predictors of academic challenges, offering an important perspective in the management of concussion by applying traditional strengths of neuropsychological assessment to clinical decision making. (JINS, 2016, 22, 1038–1049)
Background: Over the past several years, the concept of prodromal Parkinson disease (PD) has been increasingly recognized. This term refers to individuals who do not fulfill motor diagnostic criteria for PD, but who have clinical, genetic, or biomarker characteristics suggesting risk of developing PD in the future. Clinical diagnosis of prodromal PD has low specificity, prompting the need for objective biomarkers with higher specificity. In this qualitative review, we discuss objectively defined putative biomarkers for PD and prodromal PD. Methods: We searched Pubmed and Embase for articles pertaining to objective biomarkers for PD and their application in prodromal cohorts. Articles were selected based on relevance and methodology. Key Findings: Objective biomarkers of demonstrated utility in prodromal PD include ligand-based imaging and transcranial sonography. Development of serum, cerebrospinal fluid, and tissue-based biomarkers is underway, but their application in prodromal PD has yet to meaningfully occur. Combining objective biomarkers with clinical or genetic prodromal features increases the sensitivity and specificity for identifying prodromal PD. Conclusions: Several objective biomarkers for prodromal PD show promise but require further study, including their application to and validation in prodromal cohorts followed longitudinally. Accurate identification of prodromal PD will likely require a multimodal approach. (JINS, 2016, 22, 956–967)
Background: The degree of overlap between schizophrenia (SCZ) and affective psychosis (AFF) has been a recurring question since Kraepelin’s subdivision of the major psychoses. Studying nonpsychotic relatives allows a comparison of disorder-associated phenotypes, without potential confounds that can obscure distinctive features of the disorder. Because attention and working memory have been proposed as potential endophenotypes for SCZ and AFF, we compared these cognitive features in individuals at familial high-risk (FHR) for the disorders. Methods: Young, unmedicated, first-degree relatives (ages, 13–25 years) at FHR-SCZ (n=41) and FHR-AFF (n=24) and community controls (CCs, n=54) were tested using attention and working memory versions of the Auditory Continuous Performance Test. To determine if schizotypal traits or current psychopathology accounted for cognitive deficits, we evaluated psychosis proneness using three Chapman Scales, Revised Physical Anhedonia, Perceptual Aberration, and Magical Ideation, and assessed psychopathology using the Hopkins Symptom Checklist -90 Revised. Results: Compared to controls, the FHR-AFF sample was significantly impaired in auditory vigilance, while the FHR-SCZ sample was significantly worse in working memory. Both FHR groups showed significantly higher levels of physical anhedonia and some psychopathological dimensions than controls. Adjusting for physical anhedonia, phobic anxiety, depression, psychoticism, and obsessive-compulsive symptoms eliminated the FHR-AFF vigilance effects but not the working memory deficits in FHR-SCZ. Conclusions: The working memory deficit in FHR-SZ was the more robust of the cognitive impairments after accounting for psychopathological confounds and is supported as an endophenotype. Examination of larger samples of people at familial risk for different psychoses remains necessary to confirm these findings and to clarify the role of vigilance in FHR-AFF. (JINS, 2016, 22, 1026–1037)
Objectives: White matter (WM) integrity within the mesial temporal lobe (MTL) is important for episodic memory (EM) functioning. The current study investigated the ability of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in MTL WM tracts to predict 3-year changes in EM performance in healthy elders at disproportionately higher genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Methods: Fifty-one cognitively intact elders (52% with family history (FH) of dementia and 33% possessing an Apolipoprotein E ε4 allelle) were administered the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT) at study entry and at 3-year follow-up. DTI scanning, conducted at study entry, examined fractional anisotropy and mean, radial and axial diffusion within three MTL WM tracts: uncinate fasciculus (UNC), cingulate-hippocampal (CHG), and fornix-stria terminalis (FxS). Correlations were performed between residualized change scores computed from RAVLT trials 1–5, immediate recall, and delayed recall scores and baseline DTI measures; MTL gray matter (GM) and WM volumes; demographics; and AD genetic and metabolic risk factors. Results: Higher MTL mean and axial diffusivity at baseline significantly predicted 3-year changes in EM, whereas baseline MTL GM and WM volumes, FH, and metabolic risk factors did not. Both ε4 status and DTI correlated with change in immediate recall. Conclusions: Longitudinal EM changes in cognitively intact, healthy elders can be predicted by disruption of the MTL WM microstructure. These results are derived from a sample with a disproportionately higher genetic risk for AD, suggesting that the observed WM disruption in MTL pathways may be related to early neuropathological changes associated with the preclinical stage of AD. (JINS, 2016, 22, 1005–1015)
Objectives: The aim of this study was to describe cognitive, academic, and psychosocial outcomes after an incident demyelinating event (acquired demyelinating syndromes, ADS) in childhood and to investigate the contribution of brain lesions and confirmed MS diagnosis on outcome. Methods: Thirty-six patients with ADS (mean age=12.2 years, SD=2.7, range: 7–16 years) underwent brain MRI scans at presentation and at 6-months follow-up. T2-weighted lesions on MRI were assessed using a binary classification. At 6-months follow-up, patients underwent neuropsychological evaluation and were compared with 42 healthy controls. Results: Cognitive, academic, and behavioral outcomes did not differ between the patients with ADS and controls. Three of 36 patients (8.3%) were identified with cognitive impairment, as determined by performance falling ≤1.5 SD below normative values on more than four independent tests in the battery. Poor performance on a visuomotor integration task was most common, observed among 6/32 patients, but this did not differ significantly from controls. Twelve of 36 patients received a diagnosis of MS within 3 years post-ADS. Patients with MS did not differ from children with monophasic ADS in terms of cognitive performance at the 6-months follow-up. Fatigue symptoms were reported in 50% of patients, irrespective of MS diagnosis. Presence of brain lesions at onset and 6 months post-incident demyelinating event did not associate with cognitive outcome. Conclusions: Children with ADS experience a favorable short-term neurocognitive outcome, even those confirmed to have MS. Longitudinal evaluations of children with monophasic ADS and MS are required to determine the possibility of late-emerging sequelae and their time course. (JINS, 2016, 22, 1050–1060)
Chinese psychiatrists have gradually started to focus on those who are deemed to be at ‘clinical high-risk (CHR)’ for psychosis; however, it is still unknown how often those individuals identified as CHR from a different country background than previously studied would transition to psychosis. The objectives of this study are to examine baseline characteristics and the timing of symptom onset, help-seeking, or transition to psychosis over a 2-year period in China.
The presence of CHR was determined with the Structured Interview for Prodromal Syndromes (SIPS) at the participants' first visit to the mental health services. A total of 86 (of 117) CHR participants completed the clinical follow-up of at least 2 years (73.5%). Conversion was determined using the criteria of presence of psychotic symptoms (in SIPS). Analyses examined baseline demographic and clinical predictors of psychosis and trajectory of symptoms over time. Survival analysis (Kaplan–Meier) methods along with Log-rank tests were performed to illustrate the relationship of baseline data to either conversion or non-conversion over time. Cox regression was performed to identify baseline predictors of conversion by the 2-year follow-up.
In total 25 (29.1%) of 86 completers transitioned to a psychotic disorder over the course of follow-up. Among the CHR sample, the mean time between attenuated symptom onset and professional help-seeking was about 4 months on average, and converters developed fully psychotic symptoms about 12 months after symptom onset. Compared with those CHR participants whose risk syndromes remitted over the course of the study, converters had significantly longer delays (p = 0.029) for their first visit to a professional in search of help. At baseline assessment, the conversion subgroup was younger, had poorer functioning, higher total SIPS positive symptom scores, longer duration of untreated prodromal symptoms, and were more often given psychosis-related diagnoses and subsequently prescribed antipsychotics in the clinic.
Chinese CHR identified primarily by a novel clinical screening approach had a 2-year transition rate comparable with those of specialised help-seeking samples world-wide. Early clinical intervention with this functionally deteriorating clinical population who are suffering from attenuated psychotic symptoms, is a next step in applying the CHR construct in China.
There is inconsistent evidence regarding the influence of general
cognitive abilities on the long-term course of depression.
To investigate the association between general childhood cognitive
abilities and adult depression outcomes.
We conducted a cohort study using data from 633 participants in the New
England Family Study with lifetime depression. Cognitive abilities at age
7 were measured using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children.
Depression outcomes were assessed using structured diagnostic interviews
administered up to four times in adulthood between ages 17 and 49.
In analyses adjusting for demographic factors and parental psychiatric
illness, low general cognitive ability (i.e. IQ<85 v.
IQ>115) was associated with recurrent depressive episodes (odds ratio
(OR) = 2.19, 95% CI 1.20–4.00), longer episode duration (rate ratio 4.21,
95% CI 2.24–7.94), admission to hospital for depression (OR = 3.65, 95%
CI 1.34–9.93) and suicide ideation (OR = 3.79, 95% CI 1.79–8.02) and
attempt (OR = 4.94, 95% CI 1.67–14.55).
Variation in cognitive abilities, predominantly within the normal range
and established early in childhood, may confer long-term vulnerability
for prolonged and severe depression. The mechanisms underlying this
vulnerability need to be established to improve the prognosis of
depression among individuals with lower cognitive abilities.
The number of separable cognitive dimensions in schizophrenia has been debated. Guided by the extant factor analytic literature, the NIMH Measurement and Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (MATRICS) initiative selected seven cognitive domains relevant to treatment studies in schizophrenia: speed of processing, attention/vigilance, working memory, verbal learning, visual learning, reasoning and problem solving, and social cognition. These domains are assessed in the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB). The aim of this study was to conduct a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) of the beta battery of the MCCB to compare the fit of the MATRICS consensus seven-domain model to other models in the current literature on cognition in schizophrenia.
Using data from 281 schizophrenia outpatients, we compared the seven correlated factors model with alternative models. Specifically, we compared the 7-factor model to (a) a single-factor model, (b) a three correlated factors model including speed of processing, working memory, and general cognition, and (c) a hierarchical model in which seven first-order factors loaded onto a second-order general cognitive factor.
Multiple fit indices indicated the seven correlated factors model was the best fit for the data and provided significant improvement in model fit beyond the comparison models.
These results support the assessment of these seven cognitive dimensions in clinical trials of interventions to improve cognition in schizophrenia. Because these cognitive factors are separable to some degree, it is plausible that specific interventions may have differential effects on the domains.
A series of research reports has indicated that the use of substances such as cannabis, alcohol and tobacco are higher in youth at clinical high risk (CHR) of developing psychosis than in controls. Little is known about the longitudinal trajectory of substance use, and findings on the relationship between substance use and later transition to psychosis in CHR individuals are mixed.
At baseline and 6- and 12-month follow-ups, 735 CHR and 278 control participants completed the Alcohol and Drug Use Scale and a cannabis use questionnaire. The longitudinal trajectory of substance use was evaluated with linear mixed models.
CHR participants endorsed significantly higher cannabis and tobacco use severity, and lower alcohol use severity, at baseline and over a 1-year period compared with controls. CHR youth had higher lifetime prevalence and frequency of cannabis, and were significantly younger upon first use, and were more likely to use alone and during the day. Baseline substance use did not differentiate participants who later transitioned to psychosis (n = 90) from those who did not transition (n = 272). Controls had lower tobacco use than CHR participants with a prodromal progression clinical outcome and lower cannabis use than those with a psychotic clinical outcome at the 2-year assessment.
In CHR individuals cannabis and tobacco use is higher than in controls and this pattern persists across 1 year. Evaluation of clinical outcome may provide additional information on the longitudinal impact of substance use that cannot be detected through evaluation of transition/non-transition to psychosis alone.