Persistent negative symptoms in individuals at Ultra High Risk for psychosis

Alison Yung, Barnaby Nelson, Patrick D. McGorry, Stephen J Wood, Ashleigh Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Persistent negative symptoms (PNS) defined as negative symptoms that persist for at least six months in the absence of high levels of positive, depressive and extrapyramidal symptoms, are evident early in the course of schizophrenia from the first episode of psychosis. However, their presence even earlier in the illness, in those at Ultra High Risk of psychosis, has not been investigated. In this study, we examined the prevalence, baseline correlates and outcome of PNS in 363 Ultra High Risk individuals. Assessments were conducted at baseline and 2-14 years later (mean follow up time 7.4 years). Baseline assessments included demographic, clinical and neurocognitive measures, which were repeated at follow up. The prevalence of PNS in the UHR group was 6.1%. Poor premorbid social adjustment, deficits in verbal fluency and childhood maltreatment, specifically emotional neglect, were evident at baseline in the PNS compared to the group without PNS. PNS were associated with poor psychosocial functioning and deficits in processing speed at follow up. Our findings suggest that PNS can be detected early, allowing for the identification of a subset of Ultra High Risk patients who are likely to have poor outcome. These individuals could be the target for specific intervention. Further research is needed into the pathophysiology of these PNS to develop specific interventions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSchizophrenia Research.
Early online date26 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • negative symptoms
  • Clinical High Risk
  • At Risk Mental State
  • prodrome
  • neurocognition
  • childhood maltreatment


Dive into the research topics of 'Persistent negative symptoms in individuals at Ultra High Risk for psychosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this