Essay: Sex Differences in Neuropsychological Functioning Among Schizophrenia

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¶ … Sex Differences in Neuropsychological Functioning Among Schizophrenia Patients by Bozikas, Kosmidis, Peltekis, Giannakou, Nimatoudis, Karavatos, Fokas, and Garyfallos

Psychology and the related behavioral sciences have swung back and forth between the idea that all human beings start out as equal blank slates and the idea that gender provides significant differences for people. In fact, whether the impact of gender is innate or socialized, there is no question that gender is related to the prevalence of specific psychiatric disorders in groups. Moreover, gender may be related to recovery outcomes and influence the appropriate treatment options for a person suffering with a specific disease. This is a critical hypothesis, because it might not only direct future research into treatment, dictating that appropriate and responsible research take into account existing and potential gender differences.

One of the diseases where a noted sex-based difference exists is schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is known to impact males and females in different ways. These differences include, but are not limited to, differences in age at onset, intensity of the disease, and likelihood of a successful recovery from the disease. One area where gender appears to make a difference is in the level of cognitive impairment experienced by male and female schizophrenia patients; some researchers had found that males experience greater levels of cognitive impairment. Furthermore, women with schizophrenia generally have much more positive outcomes than men with schizophrenia. What makes this a particularly interesting facet of the gender breakdown of the disease is that there is an established difference in cognition in men and women who do not have mental illnesses. Therefore, whether schizophrenia exacerbates existing differences or whether those differences make women less vulnerable to the disease is an interesting question.

Previous studies have examined community functioning, one of the difficulties for schizophrenics who oftentimes have problems interacting with the outside world, and determined that community functioning was related to those areas where healthy women generally outperform healthy men, such as verbal memory, verbal fluency, and executive functioning.

To look at whether men and women experienced different levels of cognitive impairment when afflicted with schizophrenia, the researchers decided to examine patients who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. The group of 94 people was divided into 56 men and 38 women, all of whom were on antipsychotic medications and considered stable. The patients had been diagnosed with the DSM-IV, and their diagnoses were confirmed by the Greek version of the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview. The control group consisted of 31 healthy men and 31 healthy women. To assess cognitive functioning, both groups were subjected to wide variety of tests that looked at the following cognitive abilities: auditory attention, abstraction, inhibition, fluency, verbal learning and memory, visual memory, working memory, visuospatial… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Sex Differences in Neuropsychological Functioning Among Schizophrenia.  (2012, April 7).  Retrieved July 18, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/sex-differences-neuropsychological/1673318

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"Sex Differences in Neuropsychological Functioning Among Schizophrenia."  Essaytown.com.  April 7, 2012.  Accessed July 18, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/sex-differences-neuropsychological/1673318.