Early trauma and cognitive functions of patients with schizophrenia

Carolina G. Carrilho, Simone S. Cougo, Tatiane Bombassaro, André Augusto B. Varella, Gilberto S. Alves, Sergio Machado, Eric Murillo-Rodriguez, Dolores Malaspina, Antonio E. Nardi, André B. Veras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Aim: The following work aims to investigate the putative correlation between early trauma and cognitive functions, as well as psychotic symptoms and cognitive functions, in individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia. Methods: A quantitative assessment was performed with 20 individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia according to the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) criteria and who were in ongoing outpatient treatment in Psychosocial Care Centres in Brazil. Clinical measurements comprised a semistructured clinical interview, a screening questionnaire for common mental disorders, the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), and the Early Trauma Inventory Self-Report-Short Form (ETISR-SF). Cognitive assessment included Beta III test, Concentrated Attention (CA) test, Color Trails Test (CTT), and Visual Face Memory (VFM) test. Results: Age-adjusted analysis showed a negative correlation between early trauma and visual memory performance (r = −0.585, p = 0.007) and negative symptoms and attention performance (r = −0.715, p = 0.000). Conclusion: Although a cause-effect relationship cannot be firmly stated, an association between early trauma experience and cognitive impairment such as visual memory, as well as a relationship between negative symptoms and attention domains, is suggested by our preliminary findings. Future studies with larger sample sizes and prospective design will clarify the long-term effects of early exposure to trauma and its clinical meaning in terms of developing psychotic-related illness.

Original languageEnglish
Article number261
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
Issue numberAPR
StatePublished - 2019


  • Attention
  • Cognition
  • Early trauma
  • Memory
  • Schizophrenia


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