Visuospatial memory is extremely heterogeneous in schizophrenia. In a large population study, around a fifth of patients with schizophrenia showed similar errors rates to the top 50% of the general population. Conversely, half of the patients sampled showed substantial impairments.
Previous studies have shown that this cognitive function is substantially impaired in many patients with schizophrenia. In this research, presented at SIRS 2018, we compared visuospatial memory for middle-aged, typically-developing adults and patients with schizophrenia.
Samples comprised a total of >5,000 participants drawn from the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 and the Finnish SUPER study of schizophrenia, part of the Stanley Global Neuropsychiatric Genomics Initiative.
Visual memory was assessed using CANTAB Paired Associative Learning (PAL) test using the primary outcome variables of total errors adjusted and first attempt memory score (FAMS).
The results show that visual memory is extremely heterogeneous in schizophrenia. Performance is characterized by a multimodal distribution which is not seen in the general population.
Around a fifth of patients with schizophrenia have error scores similar to the top 50% of the general population, while around half showed a substantial impairment. These results would also indicate that immediate memory may be more impaired than learning over time in schizophrenia.
Interested in learning more about visual associate learning and memory in patients with schizophrenia? Download this poster.