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Title: The nature, cause and predictors ofoutcome of child and adolescentpsychosis
Author: Harvey-Smith, Diane
ISNI:       0000 0004 2671 7544
Awarding Body: University of Ulster
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2007
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Early onset psychosis' (Eap) refers to the diagnosis of schizophrenia and other related psychoses with onset prior to age 18. Neuropsychological function in Eap has been studied less, relative to the available literature on schizophrenia with onset in adulthood. Short-comings of the small number of previous studies of neuropsychological function in EOP include assessment of limited cognitive functions and failure to control for cognitive ability, thus limiting the neuropsychological significance of such studies. Hence the neuropsychological profile of Eap remains to be fully established. This is the first report of EOP patients in Northern Ireland and includes a sample of patients with autistic spectrum disorder, thereby allowing comparison to another neurodevelopmental disorder. The primary aim of this thesis was to investigate the neuropsychological profile in early onset psychosis and to consider consistency with that reported in adults. The thesis aimed t6 examine specificity of impairments, beyond general cognitive dysfunction. Finally, the neuropsychological profiles of autistic and psychotic patients were compared to determine whether or not these profiles were distinguishable. Neuropsychological test performance was assessed III adolescents with psychosis (n=22), adolescents with autistic spectrum disorder (n=18) and healthy adolescent controls (n=15). Participants received an extensive neuropsychological evaluation including measures of intelligence, attention, memory, executive function and language. Relative to controls, psychotic patients showed selective deficits in the areas of attention (auditory sustained attention and response inhibition), executive function (cognitive set shifting, planning and problem solving, and strategic planning), memory (general memory, learning and verbal long-term memory), and language (reading, writing, imming and verbal fluency). These deficits were of neuropsychological significance as they could not be accounted for by reduced cognitive ability. There was consistency with the pattern reported in adults (i.e. deficits in verbal memory, sustained attention, response inhibition, set shifting, planning and problem solving, and verbal fluency). Autistic patients' shared some deficits in attention and executive function with Eap patients, but not the memory and language impairments displayed by Eap patients. Therefore the profiles of these patients were clearly dissociable, as cognitive functions were differentially impaired in both groups.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Not available Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available