Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Deterioration of visuospatial associative memory following a first psychotic episode: a long-term follow-up study

  • C. M. J. Wannan (a1), C. F. Bartholomeusz (a1) (a2) (a3), V. L. Cropley (a1) (a4), T. E. Van Rheenen (a1) (a4) (a5), A. Panayiotou (a1), W. J. Brewer (a2), T. M. Proffitt (a2), L. Henry (a2) (a3), M. G. Harris (a6), D. Velakoulis (a1), P. McGorry (a2) (a3), C. Pantelis (a1) (a7) and S. J. Wood (a1) (a2) (a3) (a8)...
Abstract
Background

Cognitive deficits are a core feature of schizophrenia, and impairments in most domains are thought to be stable over the course of the illness. However, cross-sectional evidence indicates that some areas of cognition, such as visuospatial associative memory, may be preserved in the early stages of psychosis, but become impaired in later established illness stages. This longitudinal study investigated change in visuospatial and verbal associative memory following psychosis onset.

Methods

In total 95 first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients and 63 healthy controls (HC) were assessed on neuropsychological tests at baseline, with 38 FEP and 22 HCs returning for follow-up assessment at 5–11 years. Visuospatial associative memory was assessed using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery Visuospatial Paired-Associate Learning task, and verbal associative memory was assessed using Verbal Paired Associates subtest of the Wechsler Memory Scale - Revised.

Results

Visuospatial and verbal associative memory at baseline did not differ significantly between FEP patients and HCs. However, over follow-up, visuospatial associative memory deteriorated significantly for the FEP group, relative to healthy individuals. Conversely, verbal associative memory improved to a similar degree observed in HCs. In the FEP cohort, visuospatial (but not verbal) associative memory ability at baseline was associated with functional outcome at follow-up.

Conclusions

Areas of cognition that develop prior to psychosis onset, such as visuospatial and verbal associative memory, may be preserved early in the illness. Later deterioration in visuospatial memory ability may relate to progressive structural and functional brain abnormalities that occurs following psychosis onset.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*Address for correspondence: C. Wannan, Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre, Department of Psychiatry, The University of Melbourne & Melbourne Health, Carlton South, VIC 3053, Australia (Email: cwannan@student.unimelb.edu.au)
Footnotes
Hide All

Joint Senior Authors.

Footnotes
References
Hide All
Aas, M, Dazzan, P, Mondelli, V, Melle, I, Murray, RM, Pariante, CM (2014). A systematic review of cognitive function in first-episode psychosis, including a discussion on childhood trauma, stress, and inflammation. Frontiers in Psychiatry 4, 113.
American Psychiatric Association (1987). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 3rd edn. American Psychiatric Association: Washington, DC.
Armstrong, K, Kose, S, Williams, L, Woolard, A, Heckers, S (2012 a). Impaired associative inference in patients with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin 38, 622629.
Armstrong, K, Williams, LE, Heckers, S (2012 b). Revised associative inference paradigm confirms relational memory impairment in schizophrenia. Neuropsychology 26, 451458.
Barnett, JH, Blackwell, AD, Sahakian, BJ, Robbins, TW (2016). The paired associates learning (PAL) test: 30 years of CANTAB translational neuroscience from laboratory to bedside in dementia research. Current Topics in Behavioral Neuroscience 28, 449474.
Barnett, JH, Sahakian, BJ, Werners, U, Hill, KE, Brazil, R, Gallagher, O, Bullmore, ET, Jones, PB (2005). Visuospatial learning and executive function are independently impaired in first-episode psychosis. Psychological Medicine 35, 10311041.
Bartholomeusz, CF, Cropley, V, Wannan, C, Di Biase, M, McGorry, PD, Pantelis, C (2016). Structural neuroimaging across early stage psychosis: aberrations in neurobiological trajectories and implications for the staging model. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 51(5), 122.
Bartholomeusz, CF, Proffitt, TM, Savage, G, Simpson, L, Markulev, C, Kerr, M, McConchie, M, McGorry, PD, Pantelis, C, Berger, GE, Wood, SJ (2011). Relational memory in first episode psychosis: implications for progressive hippocampal dysfunction after illness onset. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 45, 206213.
Bodnar, M, Malla, AK, Joober, R, Lepage, M (2008). Cognitive markers of short-term clinical outcome in first-episode psychosis. British Journal of Psychiatry 193, 297304.
Bora, E, Murray, RM (2013). Meta-analysis of cognitive deficits in ultra-high risk to psychosis and first-episode psychosis: do the cognitive deficits progress over, or after, the onset of psychosis? Schizophrenia Bulletin 40, 744755.
Bora, E, Yucel, M, Pantelis, C (2009). Cognitive functioning in schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and affective psychoses: meta-analytic study. British Journal of Psychiatry 195, 475482.
Braw, Y, Bloch, Y, Mendelovich, S, Ratzoni, G, Gal, G, Harari, H, Tripto, A, Levkovitz, Y (2008). Cognition in young schizophrenia outpatients: comparison of first-episode with multiepisode patients. Schizophrenia Bulletin 34, 544554.
Brewer, WJ, Francey, SM, Wood, SJ, Jackson, HJ, Pantelis, C, Phillips, LJ, Yung, AR, Anderson, VA, McGorry, PD (2005). Memory impairments identified in people at ultra-high risk for psychosis who later develop first-episode psychosis. American Journal of Psychiatry 162, 7178.
Cambridge Cognition (2012). CANTAB eclipse Test Administration Guide. Cambridge Cognition Limited: Bottisham.
Cambridge Cognition (2016). CANTAB [Cognitive assessment software]. Available at: http://www.cantab.com [Accessed October 7, 2016].
Carlsson, R, Nyman, H, Ganse, G, Cullberg, J (2006). Neuropsychological functions predict 1- and 3-year outcome in first-episode psychosis. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 113, 102111.
de Luca, CR, Wood, SJ, Anderson, V, Buchanan, JA, Proffitt, TM, Mahony, K, Pantelis, CR (2003). Normative data from the CANTAB. I: development of executive function over the lifespan. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 25, 242254.
de Rover, M, Pironti, VA, McCabe, JA, Acosta-Cabronero, J, Arana, FS, Morein-Zamir, S, Hodges, JR, Robbins, TW, Fletcher, PC, Nestor, PJ, Sahakian, BJ (2011). Hippocampal dysfunction in patients with mild cognitive impairment: a functional neuroimaging study of a visuospatial paired associates learning task. Neuropsychologia 49, 20602070.
Donohoe, G, Spoletini, I, McGlade, N, Behan, C, Hayden, J, O'Donoghue, T, Peel, R, Haq, F, Walker, C, O'Callaghan, E, Spalletta, G, Gill, M, Corvin, A (2008). Are relational style and neuropsychological performance predictors of social attributions in chronic schizophrenia? Psychiatry Research 161, 1927.
Elvevag, B, Egan, MF, Goldberg, TE (2000). Paired-associate learning and memory interference in schizophrenia. Neuropsychologia 38, 15651575.
Fatouros-Bergman, H, Cervenka, S, Flyckt, L, Edman, G, Farde, L (2014). Meta-analysis of cognitive performance in drug-naive patients with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research 158, 156162.
Fioravanti, M, Bianchi, V, Cinti, ME (2012). Cognitive deficits in schizophrenia: an updated meta-analysis of the scientific evidence. BMC Psychiatry 12, 6483.
First, M, Spitzer, RL, Gibbon, M, Williams, JBW (2002). Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV-TR Axis I Disorders, Research Version, Patient edn. New York State Psychiatric Institute: New York, NY.
Godsil, BP, Kiss, JP, Spedding, M, Jay, TM (2013). The hippocampal-prefrontal pathway: the weak link in psychiatric disorders? European Neuropsychopharmacology 23, 11651181.
Gogtay, N, Vyas, NS, Testa, R, Wood, SJ, Pantelis, C (2011). Age of onset of schizophrenia: perspectives from structural neuroimaging studies. Schizophrenia Bulletin 37, 504513.
Goldberg, TE, Ragland, JD, Torrey, EF, Gold, JM, Bigelow, LB, Weinberger, DR (1990). Neuropsychological assessment of monozygotic twins discordant for schizophrenia. Archives of General Psychiatry, 47, 10661072.
Goldman, HH, Skodol, A, Lave, TR (1992). Revising axis V for DSM-IV: a review of measures of social functioning. American Journal of Psychiatry, 149, 11481156.
Henry, LP, Harris, MG, Amminger, GP, Yuen, HP, Harrigan, SM, Lambert, M, Conus, P, Schwartz, O, Prosser, A, Farrelly, S, Purcell, R, Herrman, H, Jackson, HJ, McGorry, PD (2007). Early psychosis prevention and intervention centre long-term follow-up study of first-episode psychosis: methodology and baseline characteristics. Early Intervention in Psychiatry 1, 4960.
Hutton, SB, Puri, BK, Duncan, LJ, Robbins, TW, Barnes, TR, Joyce, EM (1998). Executive function in first-episode schizophrenia. Psychological Medicine 28, 463473.
Joyal, CC, Laakso, MP, Tiihonen, J, Syvalahti, E, Vilkman, H, Laakso, A, Alakare, B, Rakkolainen, V, Salokangas, RKR, Hietala, J (2002). A volumetric MRI study of the entorhinal cortex in first-episode neuroleptic-naïve schizophrenia. Society of Biological Psychiatry 51, 10051007.
Keefe, RSE (2014). The longitudinal course of cognitive impairment in schizophrenia: an examination of data from premorbid through posttreatment phases of illness. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 75(SUL. 2), 813.
Laird, NM, Ware, JH (1982). Random-Effects models for longitudinal data. Biometrics 38, 963974.
Leeson, VC, Barnes, TRE, Hutton, SB, Ron, MA, Joyce, EM (2009 a). IQ as a predictor of functional outcome in schizophrenia: a longitudinal, four-year study of first-episode psychosis. Schizophrenia Research 107, 5560.
Leeson, VC, Barnes, TRE, Harrison, M, Matheson, E, Harrison, I, Mutsatsa, SH, Ron, MA, Joyce, EM (2010). The relationship between IQ, memory, executive function, and processing speed in recent-onset psychosis: 1-year stability and clinical outcome. Schizophrenia Bulletin 36, 400409.
Leeson, VC, Robbins, TW, Franklin, C, Harrison, M, Harrison, I, Ron, MA, Barnes, TRE, Joyce, EM (2009 b). Dissociation of long-term verbal memory and fronto-executive impairment in first-episode psychosis. Psychological Medicine 39, 17991808.
Mcgorry, PD, Copolov, DL, Singh, BS (1990). Royal park multidiagnostic instrument for psychosis: Part I. Rationale and review. Schizophrenia Bulletin 16, 501515.
Murray, RM, Lewis, SW (1987). Is schizophrenia a neurodevelopmental disorder? British Medical Journal (Clinical Research Edition) 295, 681682.
Napal, O, Ojeda, N, Sánchez, P, Eltzagárate, E, Peña, J, Ezcurra, J, Gutiérrez, M (2012). The course of the schizophrenia and its impact on cognition: a review of literature. Actas Espanolas de Psiquiatria 40, 198220.
Nelson, HE, Willison, JR (1991). Restandardisation of the NART against the WAIS-R. In National Adult Reading Test (NART) Test Manual. (ed. Nelson, H. E.), pp. 1323. NFER-Nelson: Windsor.
Olivier, MR, Killian, S, Chiliza, B, Asmal, L, Schoeman, R, Oosthuizen, PP, Kidd, M, Emsley, R (2015). Cognitive performance during the first year of treatment in first-episode schizophrenia: a case-control study. Psychological Medicine 45, 28732883.
Owen, AM, Sahakian, BJ, Semple, J Polkey, CE, Robbins, T (1995) Visuo-spatial short-term recognition memory and learning after temporal lobe excisions, frontal lobe excisions or amygdalo-hippocampectomy in man. Neuropsychologia 33, 124.
Pantelis, C, Wannan, C, Bartholomeusz, CF, Allott, K, McGorry, PD (2015). Cognitive intervention in early psychosis — preserving abilities versus remediating deficits. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences 4, 6372.
Pantelis, C, Wood, SJ, Proffitt, TM, Testa, R, Mahony, K, Brewer, WJ, Buchanan, JA, Velakoulis, D, McGorry, PD (2009 a). Attentional set-shifting ability in first-episode and established schizophrenia: relationship to working memory. Schizophrenia Research 112, 104113.
Pantelis, C, Yucel, M, Bora, E, Fornito, A, Testa, R, Brewer, WJ, Velakoulis, D, Wood, SJ (2009 b). Neurobiological markers of illness onset in psychosis and schizophrenia: the search for a moving target. Neuropsychology Review 19, 385398.
Pantelis, C, Yucel, M, Wood, SJ, Velakoulis, D, Sun, D, Berger, G, Stuart, GW, Yung, A, Phillips, L, McGorry, PD (2005). Structural brain imaging evidence for multiple pathological processes at different stages of brain development in schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin 31, 672696.
Prouteau, A, Verdoux, H, Briand, C, Lesage, A, Lalonde, P, Nicole, L, Reinharz, D, Stip, E (2005). Cognitive predictors of psychosocial functioning outcome in schizophrenia: a follow-up study of subjects participating in a rehabilitation program. Schizophrenia Research 77, 343353.
Radua, J, Borgwardt, S, Crescini, A, Mataix-Cols, D, Meyer-Lindenberg, A, McGuire, PK, Fusar-Poli, P (2012). Multimodal meta-analysis of structural and functional brain changes in first episode psychosis and the effects of antipsychotic medication. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 36, 23252333.
Rodríguez-Sánchez, JM, Ayesa-Arriola, R, Pérez-Iglesias, R, Periañez, JA, Martinez-Garcia, O, Gomez-Ruiz, E, Tabares-Seisdedos, R, Crespo-Facorro, B (2013). Course of cognitive deficits in first episode of non-affective psychosis: a 3-year follow-up study. Schizophrenia Research 150, 121128.
Sigurdsson, T, Duvarci, S (2015). Hippocampal-Prefrontal interactions in cognition, behavior and psychiatric disease. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience 9, 190.
Stip, E, Sepehry, AA, Prouteau, A, Briand, C, Nicole, L, Lalonde, P, Lesage, A (2005). Cognitive discernible factors between schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. Brain and Cognition 59, 292295.
Thaler, NS, Goldstein, G, Pettegrew, JW, Luther, JF, Reynolds, CR, Allen, DN (2013). Developmental aspects of working and associative memory. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology 28, 348355.
Toulopoulou, T, Rabe-Hesketh, S, King, H, Murray, RM, Morris, RG (2003). Episodic memory in schizophrenic patients and their relatives. Schizophrenia Research 63, 261271.
Vita, A, De Peri, L, Deste, G, Sacchetti, E (2012). Progressive loss of cortical gray matter in schizophrenia: a meta-analysis and meta-regression of longitudinal MRI studies. Translational Psychiatry 2, e190.
Wechsler, D (1981). Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised Manual. New York, NY: The Psychological Corporation.
Wechsler, D (1987). Wechsler Memory Scale – Revised. New York, NY: Psychological Corporation.
Weinberger, DR (1987). Implications of normal brain development for the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. Archives of General Psychiatry 44, 660669.
Williams, LE, Avery, SN, Woolard, AA, Heckers, S (2012). Intact relational memory and normal hippocampal structure in the early stage of psychosis. Biological Psychiatry 71, 105113.
Wood, SJ, Tarnawski, AU, Proffitt, TM, Brewer, WJ, Savage, GR, Anderson, V, McGorry, PD, Velakoulis, D, Pantelis, C (2007). Fractionation of verbal memory impairment in schizophrenia and schizophreniform psychosis. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 41, 732739.
Wood, SJ, Proffitt, T, Mahony, K, Smith, DJ, Buchanan, JA, Brewer, W, Stuart, GW, Velakoulis, D, McGorry, PD, Pantelis, C (2002). Visuospatial memory and learning in first-episode schizophreniform psychosis and established schizophrenia: a functional correlate of hippocampal pathology? Psychological Medicine 32, 429438.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0033-2917
  • EISSN: 1469-8978
  • URL: /core/journals/psychological-medicine
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed