Memory Deficits Predict Schizophrenic Severity

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Memory-related deficits and abnormal brain activity may predict disease severity in patients with schizophrenia, according to new imaging research.

In a small study of adults with first-episode schizophrenia who underwent functional magnetic resonance imagine (fMRI), those who did not achieve remission after 1 year of treatment displayed increased activity in the brain’s left posterior cingulate area when performing a task that involved encoding related images compared with the participants who did achieve remission.

In addition, those who did not achieve remission showed an overall worse ability to encode related images and worse overall recognition memory than those who did achieve remission.

Led by first author Michael Bodnar, PhD, the investigators note that “This is the first study to identify differential neural activation” between subgroups with this disorder.

“Memory problems are consistently associated with poor clinical and functional outcome in schizophrenia spectrum disorders.”

by Deborah Brauser

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