Executive functioning during full and partial remission (positive and negative symptomatic remission) of schizophrenia

Yoram Braw, Avi Benozio, Yechiel Levkovitz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background: Despite the upsurge of research regarding cognitive impairment in schizophrenia we still lack adequate understanding of the executive functioning of patients in symptomatic remission. Moreover, the cognitive functioning of patients in partial remission has not been studied previously although they comprise a significant proportion of schizophrenia patients. The current study therefore examined the executive functioning of patients in full symptomatic remission and for the first time assessed two sub-groups of patients in partial remission. Methods: Executive functioning of five groups was compared; symptomatic patients, patients in positive symptomatic remission, negative symptomatic remission, full symptomatic remission (SP, PSR, NSR, and FSR; N = 101) and healthy controls (N = 37). Results: A graded cognitive profile was evident between the groups. SP patients exhibited widespread executive dysfunction while the performance of FSR patients was comparable to that of the healthy controls. Both PSR and NSR patients had working memory deficits, with PSR patients showing additional deficits in cognitive planning. Conclusions: The findings are encouraging, tentatively suggesting intact executive functioning among patients in full symptomatic remission. The graded cognitive profile of the patient groups strengthens earlier findings indicating the significant role of negative symptoms in determining executive dysfunction in schizophrenia. The findings point toward potential targets for therapeutic efforts and emphasize the need for further research of sub-groups of schizophrenia patients in partial remission.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)122-128
Number of pages7
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for the study was provided by internal departmental sources which had no further role in the study. There were no additional external sponsors for the study.


  • Cognition
  • Executive functioning
  • Schizophrenia
  • Symptomatic remission


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