Research Interests


Dr. Patrizia Thoma

Cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia

Impact of comorbid disorder

45 up to 95 % of schizophrenia patients are thought to be affected by executive control problems (Velligan and Bow-Thomas, 1999) which may adversely affect their social, professional and personal level of achievement. Additionally, many schizophrenia patients suffer from a comorbid disorder like alcoholism or depression. The neuropathological changes accompanying these disorders are linked at least in part to the same neural loops which are involved in the context of schizophreniform psychoses (Tekin & Cummings, 2002). Schizophrenia patients with a dual diagnosis are know to have a poor outcome. In my research, a neuropsychological test battery was administered to schizophrenia patients with or without comorbid alcoholism, to patients suffering from either alcoholism or depression. Both the influence of comorbid disorders on executive control function in schizophrenia and the specifity of executive control problems in the different diagnostic groups are addressed.

  • Tekin, S. & Cummings, J.L. (2002). Frontal-subcortical neuronal circuits and clinical neuropsychiatry: an update. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 53 (2), 647 - 654.
  • Velligan, D.I. & Bow-Thomas, C.C. (1999). Executive function in schizophrenia. Seminars in Clinical Neuropsychiatry, 4 (1), 24 - 33.


Transient global amnesia (TGA)

TGA is characterized by the sudden ouset of an global memory disorder, without accompanying neurological symptoms. The patients show both anterograde and retrograde amnesia. TGA involves a selective disorder of episodic memory with largely intact semantic, procedural and short term memory performance. TGA usually lasts no more than a few hours leaving the patient with a lacunar amnesia for the events experienced during the amnestic episode.
We are ....studies recognition memory performance in TGA patients during and after an acute amnestic episode. More specifically, we focus on potential selective impairments of different components of the recognition process (....vs. recollection).

Topic of PhD thesis:

"Executive functionen of schizophrenia Negativsymptomatik"
(collobration with Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie / Ev. Krankenhaus Lütgendortmund)





Center for Mind, Brain and Cognitive Evolution


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