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Schizophr Res. 2008 Feb;99(1-3):111-8. Epub 2007 Dec 21.

Deficit of theory of mind in individuals at ultra-high-risk for schizophrenia.

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1
Clinical Cognitive Neuroscience Center, Neuroscience Institute, SNU-MRC, 28 Yongon-dong, Chongno-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although a deficit in social cognition is regarded as an early indicator of schizophrenia, few studies have investigated social cognition in ultra-high-risk (UHR) individuals.

METHODS:

Our investigation involved subjects at UHR for psychosis (N=33) and an age- and IQ-matched healthy control (HC) group (N=36). Two types of theory of mind (ToM) tasks and a neuropsychological test battery were measured.

RESULTS:

Compared to the HC group, the UHR group performed significantly worse for ToM tasks, with the effect size at an intermediate level (0.64-0.68). Furthermore, the UHR group showed impaired performance in the executive and working memory tests, but not verbal memory tests. These deficits for ToM tests observed in the UHR group were significantly correlated with set-shifting tasks.

CONCLUSIONS:

Deficits in social cognition may be modest at the prodromal stage of schizophrenia and may be attributed to prefrontal dysfunction. To prevent or delay transition to psychosis, there is a need for specific preventive strategies targeting social functioning for the UHR group.

PMID:
18096371
DOI:
10.1016/j.schres.2007.11.012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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