Inhibition of return (IOR) in patients with schizophrenia and cannabis use.Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 2019; 89:65-72PN
Research concerning the spatial orientation in patients with schizophrenia has demonstrated a state independent deficit in inhibition of return (IOR), which has been discussed as a vulnerability marker for schizophrenia. Other recent investigations on brain structure and cognitive processing have revealed less deficits in schizophrenia patients with comorbid cannabis use (SCH + CUD) compared to abstinent schizophrenia patients (SCH). It was hypothesized that these results may reflect a premorbid lower vulnerability in at least a subgroup of comorbid patients. The aim of the present study is to extend previous work by investigating IOR functioning in patients with schizophrenia and cannabis use. This in turn should supplement the existing studies on the vulnerability of this patient group. Therefore, we compared IOR functioning in four groups: 62 patients with schizophrenia and 46 healthy controls, both with and without cannabis use. Participants underwent a covert orienting of attention task (COVAT) with peripheral cues and three stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs: 200 ms, 400 ms and 800 ms). Both schizophrenia groups displayed delayed IOR with a more pronounced IOR effect in SCH + CUD compared to SCH. In healthy controls, IOR did not seem to be significantly affected by cannabis use. Significant IOR-differences between groups were only seen between SCH patients without cannabis use and both healthy groups at SOA 400 ms. Patterns of cannabis use as well as clinical parameters of psychoses did not affect IOR. Our results may support the hypothesis of IOR as a vulnerability marker for schizophrenia and of a lower biological vulnerability in at least a subgroup of SCH + CUD.