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Dickinson, D., Ragland, J.D., Gold, J.M. and Gur, R.C. (2008) General and Specific Cognitive Deficits in Schizophrenia: Goliath Defeats DAVID? Biological Psychiatry, 64, 823-827.
ABSTRACT: There has been a revolutionary advance in the treatment and management of schizophrenia from a clinical aspect yet the social and functional outcomes remain poor. Cognitive function is impaired in schizophrenia and shows various domains of dysfunction like verbal memory, processing speed and working memory. It is also known to be a factor associated with poor outcome in schizophrenia. Resilience is a new concept psychobiological concept which is defined as individual’s ability to adapt swiftly to adverse life events and bounces back to normalcy. Resilience has genetic, neurobiological, neurochemical and psychological underpinnings. It is the ability to effectively deal with psychosocial stressors and appears to be one of the many factors associated with favourable outcomes in schizophrenia. Besides several neurobiological abnormalities associated with resilience, neucognitive functions are of particular interest. Persistent psychosocial stressors also lead to significant neurobiological changes which may be synergetic to poor outcome due to cognitive changes. Though there has been extensive research in the field of cognitive function in schizophrenia, the trajectory of its pathway of poor outcome remains undetermined. Resilience being a protective factor may be one of the psychobiological functions which modulate the effect of neurocognition on the outcome of schizophrenia. There has been some success with interventions aimed at improving cognitive function in schizophrenia whether pharmacological or non pharmacological. In this paper, we discuss a hypothesis that resilience may be a “linkage” between cognition and outcome. There is a need for interventions aimed at increasing resilience in patients with schizophrenia and we hypothesize giving evidence that this may in turn improve outcome and neurocognitive functioning in schizophrenia.