American Neuropsychiatric Association (ANPA)
TitleUnawareness of Illness in Individuals with Schizophrenia
InvestigatorLaura A. Flashman, Ph.D.
Other InvestigatorsThomas McAllister, M.D., Andrew Saykin, Psy.D., Robert M. Roth, Ph.D.
Brief AbstractThe goal of the proposed research is to further evaluate the underpinnings and clinical significance of the concept of unawareness of illness in schizophrenia. The study will attempt to clarify the neural basis of unawareness of illness in patients with schizophrenia using structural and functional MRI technology, and will characterize the pattern of relationships between fMRI, volumetric and neuropsychological data, focusing in particular on the parietal lobe and connected circuitry. This proposal employs a cognitive neuroscience framework in an effort to isolate the cognitive, psychological, and neural mechanisms underlying this deficit. Long-term goals include elucidation of the neural network involved in unawareness of illness, and development of better treatment strategies for patients with impaired awareness.
Inclusion/Exclusion CriteriaParticipants will be age 18-50, right-handed, have at least 10 years of formal education or a GED, and be capable of providing written informed consent. To limit potential medication effects, we will study only participants with schizophrenia who have been on a stable dose of a single atypical antipsychotic for at least 6 weeks prior to entry into the study. Exclusions: Other Axis-I psychiatric disorders (including learning disorders or ADHD), neurological disorders, medical disease processes that might confound the focus on characterization of schizophrenia or influence cerebrovascular function, use of drugs known to influence cognitive, neural or cerebrovascular function. Twenty screened healthy controls matched for age, sex and parental education will also complete the neuropsychological and neuroimaging protocols.
Opportunities for Collaboration

American Neuropsychiatric Association
• Menninger Clinic • 12301 Main St. • Houston, TX 77035 • 713.275.5777