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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychiatry | doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00356

Global and Specific Profiles of Executive Functioning in Prodromal and Early Psychosis

Wu Jeong Hwang1,  Tae Young Lee2, 3, Won-Gyo shin4,  Minah Kim2, 3,  Ji Hyang Kim3,  Jun Hee Lee3 and  Jun Soo Kwon2, 3*
  • 1Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Seoul National University, South Korea
  • 2Department of Neuropsychiatry, Seoul National University Hospital, South Korea
  • 3Department of Psychiatry, Seoul National University Hospital, South Korea
  • 4Institute of Human Behavioral Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, South Korea

Objective: Numerous reports on neurocognitive functioning deficits in individuals at clinical high risk (CHR) and first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients suggest particular deficits in executive functioning (EF). However, to date, most of the studies have administered a single or a few EF tests to participants, and few investigations have examined the different components of EF to identify specific subdomains of relative strength and weakness.

Method: Forty CHR subjects, 85 FEP patients and 85 healthy controls (HC) were assessed with a neuropsychological battery to elucidate the profiles of EF in the subdomains of shift, attention, fluency, and planning.

Results: In the subdomains of shift, attention and fluency, CHR individuals and FEP patients showed deficits compared to HC. The post hoc analysis revealed that CHR individuals had preserved attention shifting and phonemic fluency compared to FEP. CHR showed intermediate deficits between FEP and HCs in spatial working memory and semantic fluency, and the largest effect size was observed in semantic fluency both for CHR and FEP.

Conclusion: Overall, the findings of this study, in addition to providing detailed profiles of EF in prodromal and early psychosis patients, highlight the informative value of the specific subdomains of semantic fluency and spatial working memory.

Keywords: psychosis, clinical high risk (CHR), First episode psychosis (FEP), Executive Function, neurocognition, semantic fluency, spatial working memory (SWM)

Received: 20 Dec 2018; Accepted: 07 May 2019.

Edited by:

Kelly A. Allott, Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, University of Melbourne, Australia

Reviewed by:

Gaelle E. Doucet, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, United States
Wenche T. Hegelstad, Stavanger University Hospital, Norway  

Copyright: © 2019 Hwang, Lee, shin, Kim, Kim, Lee and Kwon. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Jun Soo Kwon, Department of Neuropsychiatry, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, 03080, Seoul, South Korea, kwonjs@snu.ac.kr