Friday, June 19, 2009

Schizophrenia, infection and executive function

People with schizophrenia often suffer from cognitive deficits including executive dysfunction which shows itself in the form of impaired reasoning and problem-solving abilities and is associated with the more severe and disabling forms of the condition as well as poorer functional outcomes. There is increasing evidence that infections caught during pregnancy, in particular toxoplasmosis and influenza, can cause schizophrenia and researchers from Columbia University in New York studied 26 people with schizophrenia to see if there was a link between prenatal infection and poor executive functioning. People who had been exposed to infections in the womb made significantly more errors on the tests and took more time to finish them.

Brown, Alan S. ... [et al] - Prenatal exposure to maternal infection and executive dysfunction in adult schizophrenia American Journal of Psychiatry June 2009, 166(6), 683-690

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