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October 1994

Neuropsychological Impairments in Deficit vs Nondeficit Forms of Schizophrenia

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore (Drs Buchanan, Kirkpatrick, and Carpenter and Ms Holstein); the Department of Psychology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio (Dr Strauss); and the Experimental Therapeutics Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Rockville, Md (Dr Breier).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1994;51(10):804-811. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1994.03950100052005

Background:  Previous studies have suggested that functional impairments of the frontal and parietal lobes are related to the deficit symptoms of schizophrenia. The purpose of the current study was to examine whether neuropsychological measures of frontal and parietal lobe function differentiated deficit from nondeficit patients. Neuropsychological measures of temporal lobe function were used as contrast measures.

Methods:  The performance of 18 deficit and 21 non-deficit schizophrenic patients was examined on neuropsychological measures of executive, visuospatial, and memory functions, selected on the basis of their association with lesions of either the frontal, parietal, or temporal lobes. The results from the schizophrenic subgroups were compared with the results on the same measures obtained from 30 normal controls.

Results:  Deficit patients performed more poorly than non-deficit patients on two frontal lobe measures, the Stroop Color-Word Interference and Trails Making B tests, and one parietal lobe measure, the Mooney Faces Closure Test. There were no differences in performance on the temporal lobe measures between the two groups. Both groups performed more poorly on the tests than the normal controls.

Conclusion:  The results suggest that deficit patients may have greater performance impairments on neuropsychological measures associated with frontal and parietal neuropsychological abnormalities.

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