Fakultäten » Medizinische Fakultät » Psychiatrische Universitätsklinik » Psychiatrie, Psychotherapie und Psychosomatik, Klinik für » Prof. Dr. Daniel Hell (emeritiert) » Schuepbach

Completed research project

Title / Titel Early, treatment-induced recovery from negative symptoms: a predictor of cognitive performance in first-episode schizophrenia
PDF Abstract (PDF, 14 KB)
Summary / Zusammenfassung Outcome in schizophrenia is variable, and few reliable predictors have been identified. Patients with first-episode schizophrenia show significant cognitive impairments even at this early phase of illness. Studying neuroleptic-naïve first-episode schizophrenia is a strategy for investigating clinical and neuropsychological abnormalities at a very early phase of the disease without confounding influences of illness duration and medication effects. This project examines the clinical and neuropsychological time course in neuroleptic-naïve first episode patients and healthy individuals with similar sociodemographic characteristics.
Within the Pittsburgh First Episode Project, we have shown by means of a short-term follow-up study that early, treatment-induced improvement of negative symptoms predicts cognitive performance in this patient group. In order to extend these results, we were particularly interested in addressing the following questions: First, whether early, treatment-induced reduction in negative symptoms was associated with long-term cognitive outcome in first-episode schizophrenia, or whether this association held true only in the period immediately following treatment initiation. Second, since there is ample evidence that cognitive functioning is a core feature of schizophrenia, we also used early, cognitive performance change as predictor of long-term symptom severity. Further, we examined the stability of neuropsychological measures over time in our sample of patients first assessed prior to exposure to antipsychotic medications. This study is carried out in collaboration with Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC), Pittsburgh, USA.
Publications / Publikationen Schuepbach D, Keshavan MS, Kmiec JA, Sweeney JA (2002) Negative symptom resolution and improvements in selective cognitive deficits in first-episode schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research 53, 249-261

Schuepbach D, Keshavan MS, Kmiec JA, Sweeney JA (2001) Early improvement of negative symptoms predicts long-term cognitive performance in first-episode schizophrenia. Biological Psychiatry 49, 62S

Schuepbach D, Keshavan MS, Sweeney JA (2002) Selective attention in neuroleptic-naïve first-episode schizophrenia: a two year follow-up. Schuepbach D, Keshavan MS, Sweeney JA. Biological Psychiatry 51, 118S-119S

Keywords / Suchbegriffe cognitive function, neuropsychology, prefrontal cortex, schizophrenia, Transcranial Doppler sonography
Project leadership and contacts /
Projektleitung und Kontakte
Dr. med. D. Schuepbach (Project Leader)
Prof. Dr. med. D. Hell
Funding source(s) /
Unterstützt durch
NIMH, Novartis Foundation and Swiss Foundation for Medical-Biological Grants (Sponsoring of Research Fellowship Dr. D. Schuepbach 2000-2001)
In collaboration with /
In Zusammenarbeit mit
Prof. Dr. M.S. Keshavan, M.D., Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC), Pittsburgh United States
Prof. Dr. J.A. Sweeney, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago; School of Medicine, Chicago, IL United States
Duration of Project / Projektdauer 2000 to Dec 2004