Background: The Mindstreams Computerized Cognitive Test Battery (Mindstreams) is a standardized computer-based battery that was designed for widespread clinical and research use. The capability of Mindstreams to test cognitive impairment in schizophrenia has yet to be evaluated. The aim of the present study was to determine the ability of Mindstreams in detecting cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia patients and to compare it to the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB).
Method: Fifty-five schizophrenia patients and 63 healthy subjects were enrolled in the study. The Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) was used to quantify symptom severity. Neurocognitive functions were assessed using Mindstreams and CANTAB.
Results: The schizophrenia patients scored significantly more poorly than healthy subjects on all tests comprising the Mindstreams battery. Comparable tasks of the Mindstreams and CANTAB batteries significantly correlated on raw scores and the standardized cognitive indices. The Mindstreams executive function tasks had significant correlations with the PANSS negative, autistic preoccupation and activation cluster scores, and with global functioning. Two-week test-retest reliability correlations were all significant (N=17, p<0.05-p<0.001).
Conclusions: This study indicates that Mindstreams is reliable in assessing the cognitive function of patients with schizophrenia and may play a role in standardizing the cognitive assessment of these patients in clinical and research settings.