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. These deficits are something that should discuss with your clinical team as there are tools and work-arounds to help you. These do not have to hold you back, you just need to know how to compensate for them!

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