Longitudinal Cognitive Performance in Individuals at Ultrahigh Risk for Psychosis: A 10-year Follow-up

Kelly Allott, Stephen J. Wood, Hok Pan Yuen, Alison R. Yung, Barnaby Nelson, Warrick J. Brewer, Daniela Spiliotacopoulos, Annie Bruxner, Magenta Simmons, Christina Broussard, Sumudu Mallawaarachchi, Christos Pantelis, Patrick D. McGorry, Ashleigh Lin

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21 Citations (Scopus)
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It remains unclear whether the onset of psychosis is associated with deterioration in cognitive performance. The aim of this study was to examine the course of cognitive performance in an ultrahigh risk (UHR) cohort, and whether change in cognition is associated with transition to psychosis and change in functioning. Consecutive admissions to Personal Assessment and Crisis Evaluation (PACE) Clinic between May 1994 and July 2000 who had completed a comprehensive cognitive assessment at baseline and follow-up were eligible (N = 80). Follow-up ranged from 7.3 to 13.4 years (M = 10.4 years; SD = 1.5). In the whole sample, significant improvements were observed on the Similarities (P = .03), Information (P < .01), Digit Symbol Coding (P < .01), and Trail Making Test-B (P = .01) tasks, whereas performance on the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (Trials 1-3) declined significantly (P < .01) over the follow-up period. Change in performance on cognitive measures was not significantly associated with transition status. Taking time to transition into account, those who transitioned after 1 year showed significant decline on Digit Symbol Coding, whereas those who did not transition improved on this measure (P = .01; effect size [ES] = 0.85). Small positive correlations were observed between improvements in functioning and improvements in performance on Digit Symbol Coding and Arithmetic (0.24, P = .03 and 0.28, P = .01, respectively). In summary, the onset of psychosis was not associated with deterioration in cognitive ability. However, specific findings suggest that immediate verbal learning and memory, and processing speed may be relevant domains for future risk models and early intervention research in UHR individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1101-1111
Number of pages11
JournalSchizophrenia Bulletin
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2019


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