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Different neuropsychological studies have consistently found an attention, memory and executive function deficit in schizophrenic patients. The Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) evaluates different clinical aspects of schizophrenia. Factor analyses of this scale suggest the existence of a “cognitive factor”, constituted by several items pertaining to the different subscales. In order to have an acceptable concurrent validity, this “cognitive factor” should correlate with the execution of neuropsychological tasks. Our objective was to study the correlation between the PANSS “cognitive factor” and the execution of neuropsychological tasks evaluating attention, memory and executive functions.
Thirty-five schizophrenic patients were evaluated using the Continuous Performance Test (CPT), the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test (Rey CFT) and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST). Bivariate partial correlation between the neuropsychological variables and the PANSS “cognitive factor” was examined. In order to obtain this cognitive component, and based on previous studies, items P2, N5, PG10 and PG11 were used.
The PANSS “cognitive factor” was significantly correlated to CPT omission errors (r=0.45; p=0.006), Rey CFT recall after 5 minutes (r=-0.34; p=0.049), Rey CFT recall after 30 minutes (r=-0.40; p=0.020), WCST perseverative responses (r=0.36; p=0.035), and WCST perseverative errors (r=0.35; p=0.041).
The existence of significant correlations between the PANSS “cognitive factor” and performance on neuropsychological tasks evaluating attention (CPT), memory (Rey CFT) and executive functions (WCST) supports the concurrent validity of this factor.
Different personality factors have been investigated in connection with addictive disorders such as pathological gambling. “Impulse control”, proposed as a dimension of personality in modern “Big Five” models, has been associated with pathological gambling. Pathological gamblers have a high prevalence of childhood attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which is also associated with high impulsivity. Based on a five-factor personality model, our objective was to compare different personality dimensions in a group of pathological gamblers with childhood ADHD history, a group of pathological gamblers without such history and a control group. Special emphasis was placed on the factor “emotional stability”, which includes the subdimensions “emotion control” and “impulse control”.
A sample of 30 pathological gamblers with childhood ADHD history (ADHD+PG group), 33 pathological gamblers without ADHD history (ADHD-PG group) and 42 control subjects were assessed using the Big Five Questionnaire (BFQ). The different BFQ dimensions and subdimensions were compared.
For the “emotional stability” factor, the T-scores obtained indicated statistically significant differences between groups (ADHD+PG group: 44.1; ADHD-PG group: 51.9; control group: 57.9; ANOVA, p<0.001). Scheffe´s post hoc analysis showed the ADHD+PG group to be less emotionally stable than both the ADHD-PG (p=0.002) and the control groups (p<0.001); the ADHD-PG group also scored lower on this “emotional stability” factor than the control group (p=0.015).
Pathological gamblers with a history of childhood ADHD exhibit differential personality traits. ADHD history is associated with a lower score on the “emotional stability” factor, which includes the subdimensions “emotion control” and “impulse control”.
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