Free thyroxine levels are associated with cognitive changes in individuals with a first episode of psychosis: A prospective 1-year follow-up study

J. Labad, J. D. Barbero, A. Gutiérrez-Zotes, I. Montalvo, M. Creus, Cabezas, M. Solé, M. J. Algora, G. Garcia-Parés, E. Vilella

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    7 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    © 2016 Elsevier B.V. The results of previous cross-sectional studies suggest that free thyroxine (FT4) levels are associated with cognitive abilities (particularly attention/vigilance) during the early stages of psychosis. We aimed to explore whether hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid hormones predict cognitive changes in a 1-year longitudinal study following first episodes of psychosis (FEP). We studied 36 FEP patients and a control group of 50 healthy subjects (HS). Plasma levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and FT4 were measured. Cognitive assessment was performed with the MATRICS Cognitive Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB). FEP patients were assessed twice (baseline and after 1 year), whereas HS were assessed only once. We compared cognitive changes at 1 year between three groups based on baseline FT4 levels: 1) lowest quartile (Q1, FT4 < 1.16 ng/dL); 2) medium quartiles (Q2-Q3, FT4 1.16-1.54 ng/dL); and 3) highest quartile (Q4, FT4 > 1.54 ng/dL). No differences in TSH or FT4 levels were found between HS and FEP patients. All participants had FT4 levels within the normal range. HS outperformed FEP patients in all cognitive tasks. In relation to the relationship between FT4 levels and cognitive changes, a U-shaped pattern was observed: FEP patients from the middle quartiles (Q2-Q3) improved in attention/vigilance, whereas both extreme quartiles (Q1 and Q4) showed a worsening in this cognitive domain over time. Patients with lower FT4 (Q1) showed poorer baseline attention; therefore, lower baseline FT4 levels predicted a poorer prognosis in terms of attention performance. Our study suggests that baseline FT4 levels are associated with changes in attention and vigilance performance over one year in FEP patients.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)182-186
    JournalSchizophrenia Research
    Volume171
    Issue number1-3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016

    Keywords

    • Attention
    • Cognition
    • Psychosis
    • Schizophrenia
    • Thyroid
    • Thyroxine

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