Ayna Baladi Nejad1, Bjrn Hylsebeck Ebdrup2, Birte Glenthj2, William Baar3
1Danish Research Centre for Magnetic Resonance, University Hospital of Copenhagen, Hvidovre, Copenhagen, Denmark; 2Center for Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research, Psychiatric University Centre, Glostrup, Denmark; 3Danish Research Centre for Magnetic Resonance, University Hospital of Copenhagen, Hvidovre, Denmark
We explored BOLD-signal differences between 23 antipsychotic drug-nave first episode schizophrenia patients and 35 age and gender matched controls performing a verbal working memory (WM) N-Back task with two WM loads (1B-0B; 2B-0B). No significant main effect for Group was found. However, there was a significant Group WM load interaction. Certain WM-related areas (e.g. left DLPC) increased with WM load more in patients than controls despite matched performance. Patients also exhibited an inability to deactivate task-irrelevant areas with increased load. The findings suggest inefficient resource allocation in schizophrenia which could lead to the premature decline in WM performance.