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Could the hypofrontality pattern in schizophrenia be modified through neuropsychological rehabilitation?

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Objective: The effects of neuropsychological treatment on cognitive hypofrontality were examined in schizophrenic patients through the score activation.

Method: Eight subjects (six men and two women) with persistent negative symptoms and cognitive impairments were evaluated with single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) procedures and neuropsychological battery before and after a neuropsychological treatment group.

Results: After treatment an enhancement in neuropsychological performance was found, especially in executive functions. The activation score showed an increase over baseline levels and no cognitive-dependent hypofrontality after treatment was found. Although the prefrontal blood flow changes were small and non-specific, they suggest a reduction of the cognitive hypofrontality after neuropsychological treatment.

Conclusion: Cognitive improvements after neuropsychological treatment would possibly be related with the diminution of the functional hypoactivity in the prefrontal areas.

Keywords: cognitive deficit; remediation; schizophrenia

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: 1: Institute of Biomedical Research August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), Barcelona, Spain, 2: Clinical Institute of Psychiatry and Psychology, Hospital Clínic, Barcelona, Spain, 3: Department of Nuclear Medicine, Hospital Clínic, Barcelona, Spain

Publication date: 2002-03-01

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