November 16, 2006

Executive Function Might Not Determine Genetic Vulnerability to Schizophrenia

A report from researchers in France refutes the usefulness of two widely-used tests to determine genetic vulnerability to schizophrenia in families of patients. They go on to say that dysfunction in executive processing should not be used as a marker of familial vulnerability for schizophrenia.

Executive function is the complex, goal-oriented ability to plan and to organize. It includes sequencing, initiating, and sustaining behavior, as well as incorporating feedback and making progressive adjustments in order to achieve the desired goal.

The two methods used to test executive function were the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) and the Trail Making Test (TMT).

The researchers found that the scores of relatives of the patients with schizophrenia did not resemble the scores of the patients themselves.

Read the Full Story: Executive function may not be genetic marker for schizophrenia susceptibility (PsychiatryMatters.MD)

Original Source: Familial resemblance for executive functions in families of schizophrenic and bipolar patients (Psychiatry Res 2006; 144: 131-138)

Additional Reading:
Cognitive Deficits in the Families of Patients With Schizophrenia
Young Adults at Schizophrenia Risk show Brain Activation Changes
Drugs Before Schizophrenia Diagnosis?


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