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Neurocognitive impairment in schizophrenia is associated with functional disability and poorer quality of life, and is the most resistant of all schizophrenia symptoms to current psychopharmacotherapy.
To compare the differences in neurocognitive status during the acute phase of first psychotic episode and stable symptomatic remission.
To investigate the pattern of neurocognitive impairment in patients with first episode psychosis during acute phase and stable remission phase.
We performed a longitudinal study, including 150 patients with first episode of psychosis at two time points: during their hospitalization at Zagreb university hospital centre or university psychiatric hospital Vrapče, at acute phase of illness and after 12–18 months, during stable remission. Assessment included detailed clinical interview, clinical rating of neuropsychiatric symptoms using standardized psychiatric scales, self-assessment scales and comprehensive neurocognitive testing.
While our preliminary results (n = 40) showed statistically significant improvement in various neurocognitive domains, including visuo-learning abilities, verbal learning, executive functions, attention and processing speed, initial impairment in semantic and phonetic fluency observed in acute psychosis remained unchanged in remission as well.
Although our results showed improvement in most of cognitive domains during time, language abilities remained unchanged. This further confirms the hypothesis that language impairment is a trait marker of psychotic disorder.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
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