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Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease:
Articles

Further Parameters of Insight and Neuropsychological Deficit in Schizophrenia and Other Chronic Mental Disease

YOUNG, DONALD A. Ph.D., Ed.D.1; ZAKZANIS, KONSTANTINE K. M.A.2; BAILEY, CARRIE MSW3; DAVILA, RAFAELA Ed.D.1; GRIESE, JUDITH Dipl. psych.4; SARTORY, GUDRUN Ph.D.4; THOM, ANJA Dipl. psych.4

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Abstract

Evidence has begun to accumulate which suggests that lack of awareness of illness in schizophrenia is related to and possibly the result of a cognitive deficit involving prefrontal cerebral dysfunction. This study further explores this relationship along with other domains of self-awareness in chronic schizophrenics and other subjects with serious mental disorders. One hundred eight schizophrenics and 21 bipolar subjects from three separate sites in Britain, Germany, and Canada were administered the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test and three measures of self-awareness. Lack of illness awareness and other domains of self-knowledge were significantly more related to poorer neuropsychological performance in schizophrenia patients than in the other subjects. The results support the hypothesis that lack of illness awareness is related to defective frontal lobe functioning as indexed by neuropsychological measures.

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