Université Catholique de Louvain, Faculty of Medicine, Avenue Hippocrate 10, 1200 Bruxelles, Belgium,
Background: Cognitive impairments have been extensively reported for patients suffering from schizophrenia but a lot of questions persist about these troubles. Several domains of cognitive functions are impaired which result in daily life difficulties. Many arguments tend to show that children suffering from psychotic spectrum disorders present cognitive impairments also but things are not clearly defined. The aim of this review is to compare the cognitive impairments of children suffering from psychotic symptoms and adults suffering from schizophrenia in order to improve the understanding of the two clinical affections. A better understanding of the disease is necessary to improve the health care which currently give poor results.
Subjects And Methods: Besides the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) and the French reference books, the present research has been conducted using PubMed, Medline, PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES and ScienceDirect. Literature about cognitive impairments of adults with schizophrenia and children with psychotic spectrum disorders is assessed and results are compared.
Results: Both children and adults suffer from cognitive impairments: language, memories, executive and motor functions and IQ are impaired. An important heterogeneity in the troubles has been observed and a poor knowledge in terms of onset time, evolution, intensity, impact on everyday life and therapeutic interest has been reported.
Conclusion: Adults with schizophrenia and children suffering from psychotic spectrum disorders have similar cognitive impairments in many domains of cognition. The similarities in term of cognitive impairments highlighted in the present work should support new studies in order to adapt to children the current cognitive therapies which are mostly provided to adults. As the cognitive impairments are heterogeneous, each patient should receive a tailored neurocognitive exam which takes into account its abilities and weaknesses.
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