Semantic memory associated with negative symptoms in schizophrenia
Al-Uzri, Mohammed M.
In the chapter, we present a new study examining semantic memory impairment in community-based patients with schizophrenia and its symptoms correlates. We tested 73 community-based patients with schizophrenia and 71 healthy controls for a semantic memory assessment (tests of: category fluency; picture naming; naming-to-description; sorting; and word-picture matching).We used bootstrap ANCOVA (covarying age, NART IQ and education) and bootstrap regression techniques to analyse the data. These relatively well-preserved patients performed within the normal range on some semantic tests (picture naming, picture sorting and word-picture matching), but were impaired on others (category fluency and naming-to-description). Negative symptoms were inversely related to picture sorting, word-picture matching and a composite measure of all five semantic tests. By contrast, positive symptoms correlated positively only with category fluency i.e. better fluency with more positive symptoms. The results indicated that semantic memory deficits in community-based patients were small to moderate and certainly not common across all tasks. Finally, semantic memory impairment was more strongly linked to negative than positive symptomatology.