Schizophrenia patients with and without Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) have different mood symptom levels but same cognitive functioning
- Please also see editorial comment to this paper by K. Mueser in this issue, Acta Psychiatr Scand 2013;127:440–441.
Dawn E. Peleikis, Department of Psychiatry, Akershus University Hospital, Alna Outpatient Clinic, 1478 Lørenskog, Norway.
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To investigate differences in cognitive function and level of psychopathology in patients with schizophrenia (SZ) with or without psychological traumatization/post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We hypothesized that traumatized patients with or without PTSD would have more severe cognitive impairments because of the neuropathological changes associated with PTSD, and more severe psychopathology compared with non-traumatized SZ patients.
Seventy-five SZ patients with traumatization and 217 SZ patients without traumatization were evaluated regarding the symptoms and cognitive functioning, using standard symptom scales (PANSS; CDSS) and a neuropsychological test battery (IQ, verbal memory, attention, working memory, psychomotor speed, and executive functioning).
No significant differences were observed between the groups in cognitive test performance. The patients in the traumatized group with PTSD showed significantly more current depression than the non-traumatized group (P = 0.012).
The findings did not support the hypothesis that the presence of comorbid PTSD/traumatization in SZ is associated with increased cognitive impairment. The increase in current depression in SZ with comorbid traumatization suggests that more severe psychopathology is associated with traumatization.