Correlates of neurocognitive functions in individuals at ultra-high risk for psychosis - A 6-month follow-up study

Kenji Sanada, Sonia Ruiz de Azúa, Shinichiro Nakajima, Susana Alberich, Amaia Ugarte, Jone Zugasti, Patricia Vega, Mónica Martínez-Cengotitabengoa, Ana González-Pinto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Cognitive deficits are evident at the prodromal phase of psychosis. It has been noted that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is correlated with cognition in both preclinical and clinical studies. However, to our knowledge, no study has evaluated blood BDNF levels and their association with cognitive impairment in individuals at ultra-high risk for psychosis (UHR). We included 13 individuals at UHR and 30 healthy controls (HC) matched by sex, age, and educational level. Plasma BDNF levels were measured at baseline and 6 months. Neurocognitive functions (executive functions, speed of processing, verbal learning and memory, working memory) were examined at 6 months. Regression analyses were conducted to examine the relationship between BDNF levels and cognitive performance. BDNF levels were lower in UHR group than in HC group both at baseline and at 6 months (P = 0.001, and P = 0.007, respectively). There were no associations between plasma BDNF levels and all of the cognitive domains in both groups. Our findings showed that peripheral BDNF levels were not related to cognitive deficits in UHR and HC groups while the lower BDNF level in the former persisted up to 6 months. Further research is needed in a large sample.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatry Research
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Oct

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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