Neurological Soft Signs and Their Relationships to Neurocognitive Functions: A Re-Visit with the Structural Equation Modeling Design
Chan, Raymond C. K.
Chen, Eric Y. H.
Gong, Qi-yongNote: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.
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CitationChan, Raymond C. K., Ya Wang, Li Wang, Eric Y. H. Chen, Theo C. Manschreck, Zhan-jiang Li, Xin Yu, and Qi-yong Gong. 2009. Neurological soft signs and their relationships to neurocognitive functions: A re-visit with the structural equation modeling design. PLoS ONE 4, no. 12: e8469.
AbstractBackground: Neurological soft signs and neurocognitive impairments have long been considered important features of schizophrenia. Previous correlational studies have suggested that there is a significant relationship between neurological soft signs and neurocognitive functions. The purpose of the current study was to examine the underlying relationships between these two distinct constructs with structural equation modeling (SEM). Methods: 118 patients with schizophrenia and 160 healthy controls were recruited for the current study. The abridged version of the Cambridge Neurological Inventory (CNI) and a set of neurocognitive function tests were administered to all participants. SEM was then conducted independently in these two samples to examine the relationships between neurological soft signs and neurocognitive functions. Results: Both the measurement and structural models showed that the models fit well to the data in both patients and healthy controls. The structural equations also showed that there were modest to moderate associations among neurological soft signs, executive attention, verbal memory, and visual memory, while the healthy controls showed more limited associations. Conclusions: The current findings indicate that motor coordination, sensory integration, and disinhibition contribute to the latent construct of neurological soft signs, whereas the subset of neurocognitive function tests contribute to the latent constructs of executive attention, verbal memory, and visual memory in the present sample. Greater evidence of neurological soft signs is associated with more severe impairment of executive attention and memory functions. Clinical and theoretical implications of the model findings are discussed.
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