Assessment of visuo-spatial memory in patients with schizophrenia using the Location Learning Test

Jannis Nimatoudis, Nikos Anousakis-Vlachochristou, Styliani Spyridi, Zoe Nassika, Odysseas Kyriazis, Georgios St. Kaprinis

Abstract


Recent studies give good evidence that memory impairment is one of the most profound cognitive deficits in schizophrenia. Multiple meta-analytic studies have demonstrated impairments especially in working and episodic memory including both its verbal and visual aspects. The scope of the present study was to examine the short and long term visuo-spatial memory in free immediate and delay recall conditions in patients with schizophrenia. We used Learning Location Test (LLT), a brief test designed initially to measure visuo-spatial recall and learning in older adults with possible dementia, as a new approach to the assessment of visuo-spatial memory and learning impairment in schizophrenia. We studied 30 pa­tients with schizophrenia in comparison with 30 normal subjects matched with socio-demographic parameters. Patients with schizophrenia performed significantly lower in all tasks of LLT compared to the healthy subjects. The comparison between the two diagnostic groups of patients (paranoid and non paranoid patients) did not show any statistically significant difference regarding the three main index of LLT. Furthermore, the results indicate that patients have a tendency to form two separate groups: one achieving “good scores” and one achieving “very bad scores”. In order to enhance the validity of the test and to reveal the characteristics of the two subgroups, further study in this population is needed.


Keywords


Schizophrenia, Visuo-spatial memory, Immediate and delay recall, Location Learning Test

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