Neurocognitive and functional deficits in individuals at clinical high risk for psychosis

Matrunola, Claire Elizabeth (2017) Neurocognitive and functional deficits in individuals at clinical high risk for psychosis. MSc(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Background: Deficits in cognition and social and role functioning are characteristics of schizophrenia and have been found to impair every day functioning. A robust body of evidence has shown that such cognitive and functional deficits have been observed in individuals who are deemed to be at Clinical High-Risk (CHR) for developing psychosis. More severe cognitive dysfunction is associated with poorer functional outcomes in both schizophrenia and in CHR. Identifying the pattern and severity of cognitive and functional deficits for those who are CHR could identify important treatment targets for early intervention.

Aims: To identify differences in cognitive, social cognitive and psychosocial functioning in those who are at CHR of developing psychosis relative to controls. Additionally, we intent to identify to what extent does neuro- and social cognition explain poor functioning in the CHR population.

Methods: Baseline neuro- and social cognition was assessed along with GAF, social and role functioning measures in a sample of 110 CHR-participants and 46 healthy controls. Demographic and clinical characteristic data were also collected and analysed.

Results: CHR-participants showed deficits in the areas of motor speed, processing speed, working memory, global cognitive score and were significantly slower at recognising facial affect relative to controls. CHR-participants had significantly poorer social and role functioning and lower GAF scores. Regression analysis found response time for facial affect to be related to GAF and social functioning as baseline whilst global cognitive score was associated with role functioning. Exploratory analysis found response times for the recognition of sad faces to be associated with GAF whilst response times for the recognition of fearful face were associated with both social and role functioning at baseline.

Conclusions: Neuro- and social cognitive impairment, particularly in motor speed, processing speed, working memory and response times for emotion recognition has been observed in CHR-individuals. Response times for recognising emotion and global cognition have been associated with poor functioning at baseline. These findings highlight putative treatment targets for early intervention.

Item Type: Thesis (MSc(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: UHR, high risk, psychosis, cognition, social functioning, role functioning.
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Supervisor's Name: Uhlhaas, Professor Peter
Date of Award: 2017
Depositing User: Miss Claire Matrunola
Unique ID: glathesis:2017-30661
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2018 15:31
Last Modified: 20 Nov 2018 14:50

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