Premorbid Cognitive Deficits in Schizophrenia and Depression

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Premorbid Cognitive Deficits in Schizophrenia and Depression Karen S. Rutledge
PSY 326 Research Methods
Instructor: Jessica Wayman
November 12, 2012

Premorbid Cognitive Deficits in Schizophrenia and Depression Introduction
Depression is an illness that affects a person’s thoughts, mood, and even physical health. Depression is described as having feelings of overwhelming sadness, emptiness, and worthlessness. Depression can become severe enough that it begins to interfere with a person’s work, relationships, and even their willingness to live. The study that has been chosen for the topic of this paper is one that uses the clinical psychology research approach. According to the (ABPP) American Board of Professional Psychology (2012), Clinical Psychologists are professionals that provide services such as treatments, preventions and evaluations of people with behavioral disorders. This type of psychology also offers services as far as assessment and diagnosis (ABPP, 2012). I have chosen this topic to try to better understand the reasons that some people become so overwhelmed by the illness of depression. I have had a sister die of a drug overdose, she was a heavy drug user both of prescription and illegal drugs, and also a severe alcoholic, I believe that a lot of this had to do with her being in a depressed state, that happened after the death of her husband, so with this being said. I would like to understand the differences in depression disorders how to identify them and the best way to treat them. There are several types of depression that can affect person’s life, the first step is to identify the symptoms, next what could have caused of the illness, then figure out the best treatment for that individual person, which may be with medication or therapy, or both. The study I have chosen to critique is “Static and Dynamic Cognitive Deficits in Childhood Preceding Adult Schizophrenia: A 30-Year Study” the study was done by Reichenberg, Caspi, Harrington, Houts, Keefe, Murray, & Moffitt (February, 2010) in The American Journal of Psychiatry. This study talks about recurrent depression and also schizophrenia. The actual Dunedin Study has several sub-studies and has been an on-going study for over thirty years. The study was done on premorbid cognitive deficits in schizophrenia, in other words it is a study based on what happens before the diagnosis of schizophrenia. Some of the questions that where answered in the studies are: “What is their developmental course? Do all premorbid cognitive deficits follow the same course? Are premorbid cognitive deficits specific to schizophrenia or shared by other psychiatric disorders?” (Reichenberg, Caspi, Harrington, Houts, Keefe, Murray, & Moffitt, February, 2010). Literature Review

The problem with this study is that it seems to be very one sided. There is nothing mentioned about other things that could lead to the cognitive declines in these children. There is nothing mentioned about their childhood environment, as far as upbringing or history of genetic factors. The researches do however mention that they are from a full range of socioeconomic status levels, but they are mostly Caucasian which is another downfall of the study, because race should have been a factor in s study such as this. According to Bresnahan, Begg, Brown, Schaefer, Sohler, Insel, Vella, & Susser, (2007), in a study that they had done the results showed that African Americans are three times more likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia than whites.

The participants that were part the Dunedin study it is known that this study has been going on for over thirty years. The information in this study is reported by either the children, the parents or they are observed by the researchers, there is nothing included in the data about any common harmful or unpleasant experiences, for example, if any of the family members were alcoholics or of there were any mental or physical abuse....
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