Duration of Untreated Psychosis and Brain Function during Verbal Fluency Testing in First-Episode Schizophrenia: A Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Study.Sci Rep 2015; 5:18069SR
A longer duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) has been associated with poor clinical outcomes in patients with schizophrenia (SZ); however, it remains unclear whether this is due to neurotoxic effects of psychosis. The purpose of this study was to use near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to investigate the influence of DUP on brain function using two verbal fluency tests (VFTs) in patients with first-episode SZ (FES). A total of 28 FES patients and 29 healthy controls (HC) underwent NIRS during VFTs. Group comparisons of cortical activity were made using two-tailed t-tests and the false discovery rate method. We then examined the associations between DUP and hemodynamic changes in each channel to identify any effects of DUP on brain cortical activity. During the letter VFT, the HC group exhibited significantly greater cortical activations over bilateral frontotemporal regions compared to FES patients. However, this distinction was not observed while performing a category version of the VFT. In addition, no associations between DUP and brain cortical activity were observed in the FES group during either VFT. In conclusion, we did not find an association between DUP and frontotemporal cortical activities. This might be because neurodevelopmental disturbances result in neurocognitive deficits long before psychotic symptoms onset.