Neurobiological Markers of Schizophrenia: Findings from Indian Studies of Early Psychoses. Amresh Srivastava, Megan Johnston, John John, Harsha Halahalli,Shivarama Varambally 1The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada/3NIMHANS, Banglore , Karnataka , India OVERALL PANEL PROPOSAL: Advancement in technology together with early intervention studies have revealed a great deal about changes in neurobiological profile of brain in schizophrenia. In last fifteen years , there has been a trend all over the world to study early psychosis from the perspective of not only risk factors and causes of psychosis but also about brain vulnerability to understand what exactly happens that emotional reactivity becomes pathological. Appearance of psychosis is hugely dependent upon possibility of gene-environment interaction in a given substrate. The vulnerability of genetic nature almost always gets transformed into a real risk because of potential stress factors causing unfolding of protective factors. Research has shown several clinical markers as well as predictive factors from short and long-term clinical-phenomenological studies. So far there are no definite biological makers however a reliable body of research shows that cognitive factors reflect abnormality of prefrontal cortex in schizophrenia. The present symposium addresses the issues of several neurobiological markers of schizophrenia in Indian cultures. SPEAKER 1 ABSTRACT: Cognitive factors in long term outcome of first episode psychosis Amresh Shrivastava, Megan Johnston, Nilesh Shah , Meghana Thakar , and Larry Stitt One negative outcome associated with schizophrenia is a deterioration of cognitive functioning. The existing research on cognitive functioning in first-episode schizophrenia suggests that cognitive deficits may be present quite early on in the illness. Less is known about what happens to cognitive abilities in the years following a diagnosis of first-episode schizophrenia. The present study examined the cognitive function of individuals first diagnosed with schizophrenia and then again ten years later to examine changes in cognitive functioning across this time period. Individuals diagnosed with first-episode schizophrenia, who ten years later were classified as "recovered," had their cognitive functioning assessed both at the time of diagnosis and at the ten year follow-up. Our results indicate deterioration in some abilities at baseline and a decline of cognitive abilities in the group of clinically recovered patients. Visuo-spatial memory, working memory and executive functioning were shown to decrease in the ten years of treatment following diagnosis and many individuals classified as "recovered" still demonstrate abnormal cognitive functioning. These findings suggest that cognitive functions should be focused on to a much greater degree in current treatment methods.
- Early Psychosis,
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/amreshsrivastava/60/