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A wide range of cognitive deficits have been demonstrated in
schizophrenia, but their longitudinal course remains unclear.
To bring together all the available information from longitudinal studies
of cognitive performance in people with schizophrenia.
We carried out a meta-analysis of 53 studies. Unlike previous reviewers,
we included all studies (regardless of the type of medication), analysed
each variable separately and compared results with data from
Participants with schizophrenia showed a significant improvement in most
cognitive tasks. The available data for controls showed, with one
exception (the Stroop test), a similar or greater improvement.
Performance in semantic verbal fluency remained stable in both
individuals with schizophrenia and controls.
Participants with schizophrenia displayed improvement in most cognitive
tasks, but practice was more likely than cognitive remediation to account
for most of the improvements observed. Semantic verbal fluency may be the
best candidate cognitive endophenotype.
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