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Title: Cognitive functioning in anxiety and depression in schizophrenia
Author: Griffiths, Helen M.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1997
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Deficits in memory and impairments in executive function have been observed in patients suffering from schizophrenia in several studies (e.g. McKenna et al, 1990; Kolb and Wishaw, 1983). Typically, the degree of these impairments has not been found to be attributable to psychotic medication, nor to poor motivation or co-operation. On the other hand, other factors, including age and educational background, have been found to influence neuropsychological test performance. The presence of anxiety, and particularly depression, is now widely acknowledged to exist within the schizophrenic disease process. Depression is also associated with neuropsychological impairments in memory and executive function, with the level of impairment tending to vary with the severity of depression (e.g. Austin et al, 1992). There is less evidence linking anxiety with impaired performance on neuropsychological tests. However, the main hypothesis is that anxious subjects may experience a diminution of attention to external stimuli. The present study tests the hypothesis that some of the apparent cognitive deficits associated with schizophrenia are accounted for by elevated levels of anxiety and depression. A secondary hypothesis is that these cognitive deficits are specific rather than generalised. Finally, following the proposals of Liddle (1987), the study explores the relationships between cognitive functioning and schizophrenic symptomatology. A heterogeneous sample of 40 patients meeting DSM-IV-R criteria for schizophrenia was compared to a healthy control group on measures of memory, executive functioning and mood state. The results are discussed with reference to recent neuropsychological models of schizophrenia.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available