17 Scopus citations


Recent research shows that categorizing patients with schizophrenia based on frontal-striatal and frontal-temporal memory profiles may yield neurobiologically meaningful disease subtypes. We hypothesize that parents of patients exhibit similar memory profiles. Both parents of 36 patients with schizophrenia (N=72) and 26 healthy married control couples (N=52) participated in this study. All subjects were physically healthy and had no history of neurological illness or alcohol/drug abuse. The presence of a psychiatric and/or personality disorder was assessed with the Comprehensive Assessment of Symptoms and History (CASH) interview, the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia-lifetime (SADS-L) interview and the Structured Interview for DSM-IV Personality Disorders (SIDP-IV), respectively. Cluster analysis of selected measures from the Dutch version of the California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT) delineated parents into two subgroups with distinct memory deficits and a third subgroup without impairments. Specific frontal-striatal and frontal-temporal subgroups, however, were not found. In addition, our results indicated that mothers seem to be more protected against the negative effects of genetic liability to schizophrenia than fathers. Furthermore, relatives with a higher level of intelligence may have more cognitive reserve to compensate for the negative impact of implied brain dysfunction on verbal memory than relatives with a low level of intelligence. Although the parents of patients with schizophrenia could be delineated into subgroups with primary memory deficits, frontal-striatal and frontal-temporal subgroups could not be unambiguously identified. The association that emerged between level of intelligence, gender and severity of memory impairment deserves further exploration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-37
Number of pages11
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 30 Aug 2004


  • Cognition
  • Endophenotype
  • Relatives


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