Neurological soft signs and neurocognitive deficits in remitted patients with schizophrenia, their first-degree unaffected relatives, and healthy controls.
Neurological soft signs (NSS) and neurocognitive deficits (ND) are highly prevalent in schizophrenia, and have been separately proposed as candidate endophenotypes of schizophrenia. However, few relevant studies focus on remitted patients with schizophrenia (RP) and integrate NSS and ND as a composite endophenotype. This study aimed to explore the NSS and ND and examine the comparative relationship between them in RP, their first-degree unaffected relatives (FDR), and healthy controls, furthermore, to seek potential endophenotypes subitems of NSS and ND and create a composite endophenotype. 86 RP, 86 FDR, and 86 healthy controls were included. NSS and ND were independently assessed with Cambridge Neurological Inventory and MATRICSTM Consensus Cognitive Battery. RP had more NSS and ND than FDR in all subitems except disinhibition, information processing speed, working memory, and visual memory. Similarly, FDR presented poorer performance than controls in all subscales except disinhibition, sensory integration, working memory, and visual memory. Six subitems of NSS and ND met the criteria of endophenotype and the three groups were most accurately classified (71.2%) with these subitems working as a composite endophenotype. Moreover, information processing speed, attention, and social cognition were associated with sensory integration in RP and FDR. These findings add evidences that certain subitems of NSS and ND might be the endophenotypes of schizophrenia and integrating these endophenotypes may prove useful in identifying schizophrenia and high-risk individuals. Furthermore, sensory integration and specific cognitive domains covary, hence suggesting an overlap of compromised underlying neural systems.