The quantitative effect of genetic liability on the neurocognitive function of unaffected relatives of patients with schizophrenia

Poster B31, Friday, October 21, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Le Baron

Tae Young Lee1, Yoon Jin Kang1, Sung Nyun Kim1, Jun Soo Kwon1; 1Seoul National University College of Medicine

Objective: Neurocognitive dysfunction is a core hallmark symptom of patients with schizophrenia and their unaffected relatives. However, as it is difficult to define the quantitative amount of genetic loading, the specific neurocognitive domains modulated by genetic loading remain unclear. The present study quantitatively evaluated the extent to which genetic loading contributes to specific neurocognitive dysfunction. Methods: Sixty-seven unaffected GHR participants and 67 healthy controls (HCs) were recruited for this study, and their neurocognitive functions were assessed. The genetic liability of the GHR group was quantitatively evaluated using the Genetic Liability Scale (GLS). The effects of GLS scores on neurocognitive performances were evaluated among GHR participants. Results: GHR participants exhibited significantly lower scores on Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (p = 0.028) and the Digit Span task compared with HCs (p = 0.018). Although no other functional deficits were found in GHR participants compared with HCs, multiple regression analyses revealed that the lower scores on the California Verbal Learning Test, delayed recall (p = 0.028) and higher scores on semantic fluency tasks (p = 0.022) could be explained by the quantitative effects of genetic liability. Conclusions: Genetic liability quantitatively modulated semantic fluency and verbal memory performances. The positive association between semantic fluency and genetic liability suggests the presence of a compensatory response during verbal fluency tasks in unaffected symptomless participants. This association might contribute to an understanding of the mechanism that prevents GHR participants from developing psychosis.

Topic Area: Neurocognition

Back to Poster Schedule