Accelerated age-related decline of visual processing in healthy first-degree relatives of persons with schizophrenia
Bedwell, Jeffrey Scott
MetadataShow full item record
Research focusing on individuals with schizophrenia has noted that a subgroup evidence an accelerated age-related decline in general cognitive performance, particularly on tasks that emphasize visual processing ability. However, there appears to be an absence of literature examining age-related visual processing change in healthy first degree relatives of persons with schizophrenia. Such research would help determine if similar findings in persons with schizophrenia are primarily related to genetic contributions to the disorder, as opposed to factors such as chronic neuroleptic exposure. Cross-sectional examination of healthy first-degree relatives of persons with schizophrenia between the ages of 21 and 72 revealed that both visual processing and intellectual ability (to a weaker extent) displayed an accelerated age-related decline compared to controls. The findings extend a report of accelerated age-related decline of visual processing in persons with schizophrenia to include healthy first-degree relatives, supporting the notion of genetic contributions to this phenomenon.