Prefrontal cognitive functions in stabilized first-episode patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders: a dissociation between dorsolateral and orbitofrontal functioning.Schizophr Res 2005; 77(2-3):279-88SR
Specific prefrontal cognitive impairments have been reported in first-episode and chronic schizophrenia. We sought to investigate potential impairments in specific prefrontal cortical cognitive functions among stabilized patients with a first-episode of schizophrenia. A sample of 80 individuals with a first-episode of schizophrenia spectrum disorders and 22 healthy volunteers underwent a neurocognitive battery assessing orbitofrontal (OFC) [The Iowa Gambling Task (GT)], and dorsolateral prefrontal (DLPFC) functions (WAIS III Backward digits, verbal fluency test (FAS), and Trail Making Test). Cognitive data were obtained following stabilization of acute psychotic symptoms. Clinical symptoms after six weeks of treatment were assessed by using the SAPS and SANS scales. While there were no significant group differences in overall scores and in the profile of progress of performance along periods on the GT, patient group showed a significant impairment when performing DLPFC tasks. Only FAS score was correlated to the severity of negative symptomatology. The OFC functions are unimpaired at the early phases of psychosis and in contrast there is a significant deficit in DLPFC functions in first-episode of schizophrenia.