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Comparison of cognitive functions between first-episode schizophrenia patients, their unaffected siblings and individuals at clinical high-risk for psychosis

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 September 2018

Angel On Ki Chu
Affiliation:
Queen Mary Hospital, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
Wing Chung Chang*
Affiliation:
Queen Mary Hospital, Pokfulam, Hong Kong Hong Kong Jockey Club Building for Interdisciplinary Research, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
Sherry Kit Wa Chan
Affiliation:
Queen Mary Hospital, Pokfulam, Hong Kong Hong Kong Jockey Club Building for Interdisciplinary Research, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
Edwin Ho Ming Lee
Affiliation:
Queen Mary Hospital, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
Christy Lai Ming Hui
Affiliation:
Queen Mary Hospital, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
Eric Yu Hai Chen
Affiliation:
Queen Mary Hospital, Pokfulam, Hong Kong Hong Kong Jockey Club Building for Interdisciplinary Research, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
*Corresponding
Author for correspondence: Wing Chung Chang, E-mail: changwc@hku.hk

Abstract

Background

Cognitive impairment is a core feature of schizophrenia and has been observed in both familial (FHR) and clinical high-risk (CHR) samples. Nonetheless, there is a paucity of research directly contrasting cognitive profiles in these two high-risk states and first-episode schizophrenia. This study aimed to compare cognitive functions in patients with first-episode schizophrenia-spectrum disorder (FES), their unaffected siblings (FHR), CHR individuals and healthy controls.

Method

A standardized battery of cognitive assessments was administered to 69 FES patients, 71 help-seeking CHR individuals without family history of psychotic disorder, 50 FHR participants and 68 controls. FES and CHR participants were recruited from territory-wide early intervention service for psychosis in Hong Kong. CHR status was ascertained using Comprehensive Assessment of At-Risk Mental State.

Results

Among four groups, FES patients displayed the largest global cognitive impairment and had medium-to-large deficits across all cognitive tests relative to controls. CHR and FHR participants significantly underperformed in most cognitive tests than controls. Among various cognitive tests, digit symbol coding demonstrated the greatest magnitude of impairment in FES and CHR groups compared with controls. No significant difference between two high-risk groups was observed in global cognition and all individual cognitive tests except digit symbol coding which showed greater deficits in CHR than in FHR participants.

Conclusion

Clinical and familial risk groups experienced largely comparable cognitive impairment that was intermediate between FES and controls. Digit symbol coding may have the greatest discriminant capacity in distinguishing FES and CHR from healthy controls, and between two high-risk samples.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2018 

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