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Following some brief historical comments, we will focus the remainder of our review on the following questions: (1) What cognitive domains are affected by schizophrenia? (Do all persons with schizophrenia have cognitive impairment, and are there reliable cognitive subtypes?
) (3) What is the premorbid, peri-onset, and long-term course of cognitive functioning in schizophrenia?
(4) What is known about neuropathological systems which may underlie cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia?
(5) What are the effects of general and specific cognitive deficits on patients’ independence in everyday functioning?
Among the meta-analyses reviewed by Dickinson et al.
( = 0.99 to 1.41; and for working memory (including Digit Span forward and backward, mental Arithmetic, Letter Number Sequencing, and other measures of verbal or visual-spatial working memory), the effect sizes ranged from 0.61 to 1.18.
Efforts to firmly establish the specific neurocognitive/neuropathologic systems responsible for schizophrenia remain elusive, as do efforts to definitively demonstrate the specific cognitive deficits underlying specific forms of functional impairment.
The authors found no significant differences in the mean cognitive profiles among the verbally superior patients relative to the verbally superior healthy comparison subjects.Application of a neuropsychological perspective to the study of schizophrenia has established a number of important facts about this disorder.