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Sex Differences Influence Correlates of P300 in Drug-naïve Patients with Schizophrenia

Wei Hung Chang, Kao Chin Chen, Yen Kuang Yang,Po See Chen, Ru-Band Lu, Tzung Lieh Yeh, I Hui Lee

Objectives: The objective of this study was to explore how sex differences influence the correlations between P300 and cognitive function as well as the severity of psychopathologies in drug-naïve patients with schizophrenia. Methods:
The study included 28 drug-naïve patients with schizophrenia (male = 15, female = 13, mean age = 24.03 ± 5.67 years). Clinical psychopathology and cognitive function were measured using Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) and the Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised (WMS-R), respectively. We also assessed Spearman’s r correlations and partial correlations, controlling participants’ age and the duration of illness, between P300 and cognitive functions/psychopathologies. Results: In the male patients with schizophrenia, the significant correlations existed between the latency of P300 at the midline electrodes (central electrode (Cz) and parietal electrode (Pz)) and the scores of negative symptoms in PANSS (p < 0.05, p < 0.001). Also, the significant positive correlation existed between positive symptoms in PANSS and latency of P300 at Pz only in male subjects (p < 0.05). In the female patients, the latency of P300 at Cz was significantly correlated with both the verbal memory and attention/concentration index of the WMS-R (p < 0.01) respectively, and the amplitude of P300 at Pz was significantly correlated with visual memory index (ρ = 0.61, p < 0.05). The above significances still existed after controlling patients’ age and the duration of illness (p < 0.05). But after multiple comparison, only significant correlation existed between the latency of P300 at Pz and the scores of negative symptoms in PANSS in male subjects (ρ = 0.88, p < 0.001). Conclusion: Our study revealed that the correlations between clinical symptoms and P300 variations may be sex-linked.
Key Word drug-naïve schizophrenia, P300, psychopathologies, sex differences
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