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Schizophr Res. 2004 Dec 15;72(1):41-51.

Longitudinal studies of cognition and functional outcome in schizophrenia: implications for MATRICS.

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Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, USA.


It is generally accepted that cognitive deficits in schizophrenia are related to functional outcome. However, support for longitudinal relationships between cognition and functional outcome has not been as well documented. The current paper presents a review of 18 recently published longitudinal studies (minimum 6-month follow up) of the relationships between cognition and community outcome in schizophrenia. Results from these studies reveal considerable support for longitudinal associations between cognition and community outcome in schizophrenia. These studies demonstrate that cognitive assessment predict later functional outcome and provide a rationale for psychopharmacological interventions for cognitive deficits in schizophrenia. Although the relationships between cognition and community outcome are well-supported, it is clear that community functioning is also affected by a host of factors apart from cognition that are usually not considered in clinical trial studies (e.g., psychosocial rehabilitation and educational/vocational opportunities). In the second part of the paper, we consider intervening steps between cognitive performance measures and community outcome. These steps are apt to have important implications for clinical trials of cognition-enhancing agents in schizophrenia.

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