Neurocognitive functions in persistent negative symptoms following a first episode of psychosis.

TitleNeurocognitive functions in persistent negative symptoms following a first episode of psychosis.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsLepage M, Bodnar M, Raucher-Chéné D, Lavigne KM, Makowski C, Joober R, Malla A
JournalEur Neuropsychopharmacol
Date Published2021 Jun

Negative symptoms are present at the onset of psychosis and their persistence is significantly associated with poor psychosocial functioning and lower quality of life. Persistent negative symptoms (PNS) may be idiopathic or secondary to other factors such as depression, positive symptoms, and medication side-effects. Several studies have examined neurocognitive functions in early psychosis patients with PNS relative to non-PNS, but have not systematically controlled for secondary PNS (sPNS). The latter may have a distinct neurocognitive profile that could obscure differences between PNS and non-PNS. Using a large (n = 425) sample, we examined neurocognitive functions in PNS, sPNS, and non-PNS and hypothesized that PNS would be associated with greater impairments relative to non-PNS. Following admission to an early intervention program, a neurocognitive battery was administered after at least 3 months of treatment, and symptom data collected during a subsequent 6-month period were used to classify patients as PNS, sPNS and non-PNS. At month 12, both PNS and sPNS groups had significantly lower level of functioning relative to the non-PNS group but the sPNS group experienced higher levels of depressive and positive symptoms and were on a higher dose of antipsychotics. Relative to non-PNS, PNS patients exhibited significant impairments in verbal memory and working memory, whereas sPNS patients exhibited a trend towards greater impairments in verbal memory. This study confirms that the presence of PNS or sPNS negatively influences functioning with more selective cognitive impairments found in PNS, providing evidence that these groups of patients could benefit from different personalised interventions.

Alternate JournalEur Neuropsychopharmacol
PubMed ID33663901