Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria
On-line version ISSN 1809-452X
BERBERIAN, Arthur A. et al. Working memory assessment in schizophrenia and its correlation with executive functions ability. Rev. Bras. Psiquiatr. [online]. 2009, vol.31, n.3, pp. 219-226. ISSN 1809-452X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-44462009000300007.
OBJECTIVE: Working memory impairment is common in schizophrenia and is possibly a cause of multiple features of the disorder. However few studies have replicated such findings of impairment patterns in Brazilian samples. The main target of this study was to assess auditory and visual working memory in patients with schizophrenia, to assess if they work as separate systems, and to correlate working memory deficits with executive functions. METHOD: Twenty subjects with schizophrenia and twenty healthy subjects matched by gender, age, and schooling have participated. The abilities assessed were auditory and visual working memory, selective attention, inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility, and planning. RESULTS: Patients showed declines in all measures evaluated, except for a measure reaction time of inhibitory control. Auditory working memory was correlated to selective attention, inhibition, flexibility and planning while Visual working memory to planning and flexibility. CONCLUSION: The present study suggests that working memory and executive functions deficits are present in patients with schizophrenia in the Brazilian sample evaluated. Alterations in executive functions may lead to incapacity of operation of processes of working memory. These findings may contribute to delineate and develop new strategies of schizophrenia treatment in the Brazilian population.
Keywords : Memory; Cognition; Schizophrenia; Attention; Evaluation.