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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 819587, 8 pages
Review Article

Neurocognitive Functioning in Schizophrenia and during the Early Phases of Psychosis: Targeting Cognitive Remediation Interventions

1Department of Outpatient Psychiatry and Organization of Psychiatric Care, Moscow Research Institute of Psychiatry, Poteshnaya Street 3, Moscow 107076, Russia
2Lomonosov Moscow State University, Mokhovaya Street 11-9, Moscow 125009, Russia
3Department of Psychiatry, Clare College, University of Cambridge and South Essex Partnership University Foundation Trust, Weller Wing Bedford Hospital, Kempston Road, Bedford MK42 9DJ, UK

Received 30 April 2013; Revised 17 July 2013; Accepted 5 August 2013

Academic Editor: Margaret A. Niznikiewicz

Copyright © 2013 Yulia Zaytseva et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Recent interest in the early course of schizophrenia accentuated altered cognition prior to the onset. Ultrahigh risk (UHR) individuals with attenuated positive symptoms and transient psychotic episodes demonstrate neurocognitive deficits across multiple domains such as memory, executive functioning, and processing speed which are consistent with similar disturbances identified in patients with a first episode of schizophrenia. Cognitive remediation (CR) approaches representing a broad set of activities are aimed to restore or improve cognitive functioning. CR proved to be effective in modulating the cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia but is rarely used in ultrahigh risk individuals. From the clinical prospective, a better understanding of cognitive functioning in at-risk states is essential for the development of optimal early intervention models. In the review, we highlight the intervention targets, notably the specific cognitive deficits in at risk individuals which preceed the transition to psychosis and emphasize the need of the additional studies using CR approaches in UHR group aiming to enhance cognition and therefore mediate functional improvement.