Egidio A. Bove

Markers of psychotic vulnerability in healthy relatives of schizophrenic patients: an explorative study

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: schizophrenia, basic symptoms, subjective experiences, cognitive deficit, endophenotype, vulnerability, relatives.

The relationship between cognitive performance and basic symptoms (BS) was examined in first-degree relatives of schizophrenic patients. Twenty-four relatives (15 female and 9 male; mean age = 38,33) and 24 matched controls (15 female and 9 male; mean age = 37,67) were recruited. Cognitive tests were: Continuous Performance Test (CPT), N-back Working Memory Test (N-BACK), Negative Priming Test (NPT), Span of Apprehension Test (SPAN). Clinical instruments were: Basic Symptoms Questionnaire (FBF), Symptom Check List-90 (SCL), State-Trait Anxiety Inventory-Y (STAI), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). The relatives showed worse cognitive performance than the controls, especially in the tasks with greater cognitive processing load. The relatives also revealed more BS than the controls in the domain of thought, attention, memory, language and visual representation. Only CPT performance was associated with BS. The negative correlation between FBF and CPT was strongly evident in the relatives with poorer processing capacity. Finding suggests that the BS are associated with sustained attention performance. Future research is needed to clarify whether BS are related to other cognitive domains.

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