Cognitive deficits are a key feature of recent-onset psychosis, but there is no consensus on whether such deficits are generalized or confined to specific domains. Besides, it is unclear whether cognitive deficits: a) are found in psychotic patients in samples from outside high-income countries; and b) whether they progress uniformly over time in schizophrenia and affective psychoses. We applied 12 tests organized into eight cognitive domains, comparing psychosis patients (n = 56, time from initial contact = 677.95+/-183.27 days) versus healthy controls (n=70) recruited from the same area of São Paulo, Brazil. Longitudinal comparisons (digit span and verbal fluency) were conducted between a previous assessment of the subjects carried out at their psychosis onset, and the current follow-up evaluation. Psychosis patients differed significantly from controls on five domains, most prominently on verbal memory. Cognitive deficits remained detectable in separate comparisons of the schizophrenia subgroup and, to a lesser extent, the affective psychosis subjects against controls. Longitudinal comparisons indicated significant improvement in schizophrenia, affective psychoses, and control subjects, with no significant group-by-time interactions. Our results reinforce the view that there are generalized cognitive deficits in association with recent-onset psychoses, particularly of non-affective nature, which persist over time.
|Publication status||Published - 2010|