Cognitive functioning related to symptoms

How is cognitive functioning related to symptoms? 

Schizophrenia is characterised by positive, negative and disorganised symptoms. Positive symptoms refer to experiences additional to what would be considered normal experience, such as hallucinations and delusions. Negative symptoms include blunted affect, impoverished thinking, alogia, asociality, avolition, and anhedonia. Alogia is often manifested as poverty of speech, asociality involves reduced social interaction, avolition refers to poor hygiene and reduced motivation, while anhedonia is defined as an inability to experience pleasure. Disorganised symptoms involve bizarre behaviour and disorganised thought and speech. Cognitive deficits are also a core feature of schizophrenia. These deficits may be present in chronic patients, as well as prior to onset of the disorder and during its early and acute stages. Cognitive deficits may be associated with specific symptoms as well as functional impairment.

What is the evidence for cognitive functioning relating to symptom dimensions?

Moderate to high quality evidence shows more severe overall symptoms are associated with poor prospective memory, insight, executive functioning, facial perception, facial emotion recognition, emotion processing and perception, social perception, and Theory of Mind.

More severe positive symptoms are associated with poorer insight, attention/vigilance, reasoning, problem solving, non-emotional recognition, self-recognition, psychomotor speed, executive functioning, Theory of Mind, verbal list learning and digit span performance. More severe negative symptoms are associated with poorer language fluency, IQ, attention, memory, learning, speed of processing, reasoning, executive functioning, insight, social cognition, and olfaction. More severe disorganised symptoms are associated with poorer IQ, attention, executive functioning, speed of processing, reasoning/problem solving, and memory, but not verbal working memory. Thought disorder was associated with poorer semantic priming and verbal fluency.

March 2022

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Last updated at: 4:57 pm, 19th March 2022
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