Could the hypofrontality pattern in schizophrenia be modified through neuropsychological rehabilitation?


Manel Salamero Servei de Psicologia Clínica, Hospital Clínic i Provincial, C/Villarroel 170, 08036 Barcelona, Spain E-mail:


Objective: The effects of neuropsychological treatment on cognitive hypofrontality were examined in schizophrenic patients through the score activation.

Method: Eight subjects (six men and two women) with persistent negative symptoms and cognitive impairments were evaluated with single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) procedures and neuropsychological battery before and after a neuropsychological treatment group.

Results: After treatment an enhancement in neuropsychological performance was found, especially in executive functions. The activation score showed an increase over baseline levels and no cognitive-dependent hypofrontality after treatment was found. Although the prefrontal blood flow changes were small and non-specific, they suggest a reduction of the cognitive hypofrontality after neuropsychological treatment.

Conclusion: Cognitive improvements after neuropsychological treatment would possibly be related with the diminution of the functional hypoactivity in the prefrontal areas.