What cognitive deficits are associated with schizophrenia? Are they stable over time?

Individuals with schizophrenia experience deficits across a number of cognitive domains. Cognitive deficits are considered core features of the disorder since they exist prior to onset of psychosis and they persistent during periods of remission. These cognitive deficits have been shown to be stable over time (examined for a ten-year period in individuals). These deficits have been found to impact functioning, including return to work or school. Cognitive deficits are found in verbal memory, spatial memory, concentration/processing speed, goal maintenance, attention/vigilance, and executive functioning. There are many excellent articles on cognitive deficits in schizophrenia. One recent article that looks at longitudinal stability of these deficits can be found at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4081490/  

The impact of these cognitive deficits can be lessened using psychoeducation in techniques on how to manage learning problems and memory issues. There are also effective cognitive remediation programs (computerized and in-person).

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