Neurocognition in Early-Onset Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorders

Stephen R. Hooper, Anthony J. Giuliano, Eric A. Youngstrom, David Breiger, Linmarie Sikich, Jean A. Frazier, Robert L. Findling, Jon McClellan, Robert M. Hamer, Benedetto Vitiello, Jeffrey A. Lieberman

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Abstract

Objective: We examined the neuropsychological functioning of youth enrolled in the NIMH funded trial, Treatment of Early-Onset Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders (TEOSS). We compared the baseline neuropsychological functioning of youth with schizophrenia (SZ, n = 79) to those with schizoaffective disorder (SA, n = 40), and examined the relationship of different variables of illness severity and adaptive behavior to neuropsychological functioning. Method: Participants ranged in age from 8 to 19 years. Diagnostic status was confirmed via structured interview over multiple time points. Domains of neuropsychological functioning included fine-motor, attention, working memory, problem-solving efficiency, inhibitory control, and social cognition. Other variables included intelligence (IQ), academic achievement skills, adaptive behavior, and different measures of illness severity. Results: The two groups did not differ on IQ or on any of the neuropsychological domains. The SZ group performed significantly lower in spelling. A high proportion of individuals in both groups reflected significant intellectual and academic achievement skill deficits. Significant correlations were found between the neurocognitive domains and both illness severity and adaptive behavior variables. Conclusions: There were few differences between the SZ and SA groups on IQ, achievement, or neuropsychological functioning; however, both groups showed significantly high rates of deficits in IQ and basic academic skills. Correlations of the neurocognitive functions with illness severity and adaptive behavior were small to moderate in magnitude. These findings continue to implicate the importance of neurocognitive functioning as a key area of vulnerability in the study of youth with schizophrenia spectrum disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-60
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Volume49
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

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Keywords

  • childhood schizophrenia
  • early-onset schizophrenia
  • neurocognition in schizophrenia
  • schizoaffective disorder in childhood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Hooper, S. R., Giuliano, A. J., Youngstrom, E. A., Breiger, D., Sikich, L., Frazier, J. A., Findling, R. L., McClellan, J., Hamer, R. M., Vitiello, B., & Lieberman, J. A. (2010). Neurocognition in Early-Onset Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorders. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 49(1), 52-60. https://doi.org/10.1097/00004583-201001000-00009