Published online Jun 22, 2017. doi: 10.5498/wjp.v7.i2.128
Peer-review started: December 19, 2016
First decision: April 18, 2017
Revised: April 27, 2017
Accepted: May 12, 2017
Article in press: May 15, 2017
Published online: June 22, 2017
Increasing evidence shows that cognitive impairment and brain abnormalities can appear early in the first episodes of schizophrenia, but it is currently debated how brain changes can correlate with clinical presentation of schizophrenic patients. Of note, this report describes the case of a young schizophrenic male presenting parietal magnetic resonance/positron emission tomography abnormalities and cognitive impairment, documented by specific neuropsychological tests. In our knowledge only few studies have investigated if neuropsychological abnormalities could be concomitant with both structural and functional neuroimaging. This case shows that impairment in specific cognitive domains is associated with structural/functional brain abnormalities in the corresponding brain areas (frontal and parietal lobes), supporting the hypothesis of disconnectivity, involving a failure to integrate anatomical and functional pathways. Future research would define the role of cognitive impairment and neurodegeneration in psychiatric nosography and, in particular, their role in the early phases of illness and long-term outcome of schizophrenic patients.
Core tip: Schizophrenia is associated with impairment in executive function, verbal memory, verbal fluency and attention. Neuropsychological tests are associated with structural and functional brain alterations. This case report is an example of the potential correlation between clinical symptoms (e.g., cognitive impairment) and brain changes. These data may help in the prediction of possible outcome of schizophrenia patients.