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Differential effects of age at illness onset on verbal memory functions in antipsychotic-naïve schizophrenia patients aged 12–43 years

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 March 2020

Birgitte Fagerlund*
Affiliation:
Center for Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research (CNSR) and Center for Clinical Intervention and Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research (CINS), Mental Health Center Glostrup, Glostrup, Denmark Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Christos Pantelis
Affiliation:
Center for Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research (CNSR) and Center for Clinical Intervention and Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research (CINS), Mental Health Center Glostrup, Glostrup, Denmark Department of Psychiatry, Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre, University of Melbourne and Melbourne Health, Carlton South, Victoria, Australia
Jens Richardt Møllegaard Jepsen
Affiliation:
Center for Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research (CNSR) and Center for Clinical Intervention and Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research (CINS), Mental Health Center Glostrup, Glostrup, Denmark Mental Health Services, Capital Region of Denmark, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Center, Copenhagen, Denmark
Jayachandra Mitta Raghava
Affiliation:
Center for Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research (CNSR) and Center for Clinical Intervention and Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research (CINS), Mental Health Center Glostrup, Glostrup, Denmark Functional Imaging Unit, Department of Clinical Physiology, Nuclear Medicine and PET, Rigshospitalet Glostrup, 2600 Glostrup, Denmark
Egill Rostrup
Affiliation:
Center for Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research (CNSR) and Center for Clinical Intervention and Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research (CINS), Mental Health Center Glostrup, Glostrup, Denmark
Marie Bjerregaard Thomas
Affiliation:
Center for Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research (CNSR) and Center for Clinical Intervention and Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research (CINS), Mental Health Center Glostrup, Glostrup, Denmark
Mette Ødegaard Nielsen
Affiliation:
Center for Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research (CNSR) and Center for Clinical Intervention and Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research (CINS), Mental Health Center Glostrup, Glostrup, Denmark University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Department of Clinical Medicine, Copenhagen, Denmark
Kirsten Bojesen
Affiliation:
Center for Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research (CNSR) and Center for Clinical Intervention and Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research (CINS), Mental Health Center Glostrup, Glostrup, Denmark
Karsten Gjessing Jensen
Affiliation:
Mental Health Services, Capital Region of Denmark, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Center, Copenhagen, Denmark University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Department of Clinical Medicine, Copenhagen, Denmark
Marie Stentebjerg-Decara
Affiliation:
Mental Health Services, Capital Region of Denmark, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Center, Copenhagen, Denmark University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Department of Clinical Medicine, Copenhagen, Denmark
Dea Gowers Klauber
Affiliation:
Mental Health Services, Capital Region of Denmark, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Center, Copenhagen, Denmark University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Department of Clinical Medicine, Copenhagen, Denmark
Ditte Rudå
Affiliation:
Mental Health Services, Capital Region of Denmark, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Center, Copenhagen, Denmark University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Department of Clinical Medicine, Copenhagen, Denmark
Bjørn H. Ebdrup
Affiliation:
Center for Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research (CNSR) and Center for Clinical Intervention and Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research (CINS), Mental Health Center Glostrup, Glostrup, Denmark University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Department of Clinical Medicine, Copenhagen, Denmark
Kasper Jessen
Affiliation:
Center for Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research (CNSR) and Center for Clinical Intervention and Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research (CINS), Mental Health Center Glostrup, Glostrup, Denmark
Anne Sigvard
Affiliation:
Center for Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research (CNSR) and Center for Clinical Intervention and Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research (CINS), Mental Health Center Glostrup, Glostrup, Denmark University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Department of Clinical Medicine, Copenhagen, Denmark
Karen Tangmose
Affiliation:
Center for Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research (CNSR) and Center for Clinical Intervention and Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research (CINS), Mental Health Center Glostrup, Glostrup, Denmark University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Department of Clinical Medicine, Copenhagen, Denmark
Pia Jeppesen
Affiliation:
Mental Health Services, Capital Region of Denmark, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Center, Copenhagen, Denmark University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Department of Clinical Medicine, Copenhagen, Denmark
Christoph U. Correll
Affiliation:
The Zucker Hillside Hospital, Department of Psychiatry, Northwell Health, Glen Oaks, NY, USA Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, Department of Psychiatry and Molecular Medicine, Hempstead, NY, USA Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Berlin, Germany
Anders Fink-Jensen
Affiliation:
University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Department of Clinical Medicine, Copenhagen, Denmark Mental Health Center Copenhagen, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Anne Katrine Pagsberg
Affiliation:
Mental Health Services, Capital Region of Denmark, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Center, Copenhagen, Denmark University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Department of Clinical Medicine, Copenhagen, Denmark
Birte Yding Glenthøj
Affiliation:
Center for Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research (CNSR) and Center for Clinical Intervention and Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research (CINS), Mental Health Center Glostrup, Glostrup, Denmark University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Department of Clinical Medicine, Copenhagen, Denmark
*
Author for correspondence: Birgitte Fagerlund, E-mail: Birgitte.Fagerlund@regionh.dk

Abstract

Background

The typical onset of schizophrenia coincides with the maturational peak in cognition; however, for a significant proportion of patients the onset is before age 18 and after age 30 years. While cognitive deficits are considered core features of schizophrenia, few studies have directly examined the impact of age of illness onset on cognition.

Methods

The aim of the study was to examine if the effects of age on cognition differ between healthy controls (HCs) and patients with schizophrenia at illness onset. We examined 156 first-episode antipsychotic-naïve patients across a wide age span (12–43 years), and 161 age- and sex-matched HCs. Diagnoses were made according to ICD-10 criteria. Cognition was assessed using the Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia (BACS), and IQ was estimated using subtests from the Wechsler adult- or child-intelligence scales. Multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) was used to examine linear and quadratic effects of age on cognitive scores and interactions by group, including sex and parental socioeconomic status as covariates.

Results

There was a significant overall effect of age on BACS and IQ (p < 0.001). Significant group-by-age interactions for verbal memory (for age-squared, p = 0.009), and digit sequencing (for age, p = 0.01; age-squared, p < 0.001), indicated differential age-related trajectories between patients and HCs.

Conclusions

Cognitive functions showing protracted maturation into adulthood, such as verbal memory and verbal working memory, may be particularly impaired in both early- and late-schizophrenia onset. Our findings indicate a potential interaction between the timing of neurodevelopmental maturation and a possible premature age effect in late-onset schizophrenia.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press

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Footnotes

*

Birgitte Fagerlund and Christos Pantelis have contributed equally and share first authorship.

Birte Y. Glenthøj and Anne Katrine Pagsberg have contributed equally and share last authorship.

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