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Schaub, Annette; Neubauer, Nicole; Mueser, Kim T.; Engel, Rolf; Moeller, Hans-Juergen: Neuropsychological functioning in inpatients with major depression or schizophrenia. In: BMC Psychiatry 2013, 13:203




Background: Studies that compare neuropsychological functioning in inpatients with mood disorder or schizophrenia come to heterogeneous results. This study aims at investigating the question whether there are different neuropsychological test profiles in stabilised post-acute inpatients with affective disorders or schizophrenia. Method: We were interested in evaluating impairment in specific areas of cognitive functioning in patients with schizophrenia or depression. In clinical reality, patients with depression and schizophrenia are often treated together with little attention to their specific needs. 74 patients with major depression and 38 patients with schizophrenia were assessed in a comprehensive neuropsychological battery. All patients were in a post-acute stage of their illness, i.e. remission of acute symptoms. Results: In spite of a comparable mean score of psychopathological symptoms in the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale-Expanded (BPRS-E) as well as in the Global Assessment Functioning Scale (GAF), patients with depressive disorder showed significantly better results in verbal and visual short-term memory, verbal fluency, visual-motor coordination, information processing in visual-verbal functioning and selective attention compared to patients with schizophrenia. No significant differences between both samples were found in practical reasoning, general verbal abstraction, spatial-figural functioning, speed of cognitive processing. Conclusions: These results show that there are differences in scores in psychopathology (BPRS-E, GAF) in patients with affective disorders or schizophrenia and different neuropsychological test profiles in the post-acute stage of their illness.