Schizophrenia and memory impairment: evidence for a neurocognitive subtype
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Evidence is presented that verbal memory impairment distinguishes a subgroup of patients with schizophrenia who also differ in symptom profile and illness adjustment. On the basis of the California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT), a sample of patients was partitioned into memory-impaired (n=16) and memory-unimpaired groups (n=16). Groups were matched for age, sex, IQ, and anti-psychotic medication. These groups were then compared using the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) and the Sickness Impact Profile (SIP). Results indicate that memory-impaired schizophrenia patients experience significantly more positive symptoms and a poorer quality of life than their memory-unimpaired counterparts. This finding supports the idea that neurocognitive measures are a valuable way of organizing the heterogeneous disease states of schizophrenia.
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