CLINICAL EEG AND NEUROSCIENCE, vol.49, no.1, pp.27-35, 2018 (SCI-Expanded)
Negative symptoms are defined as loss or reduction of otherwise present behaviors or functions in illness situation, and they have constituted an important aspect of schizophrenia. Although negative symptoms have usually been considered as a single entity, neurobiological investigations yielded discrepant results. To overcome challenges that derive from this discrepancy, researchers have proposed several approaches to structure negative symptoms into more homogenous constructs. Concept of persistent negative symptoms (PNS) is one of the proposed approaches, and includes both primary and secondary negative symptoms that persist after adequate treatment. PNS is relatively easy to assess, and by definition, more inclusive; yet it represents an unmet therapeutic need. Therefore, it is a target of several neurobiological and pharmacological studies. There are several structural and functional brain alterations associated with negative symptoms. On the other hand, neurocognitive investigations in patients with schizophrenia have revealed deficits in several domains that showed correlations with negative symptoms. There are several shared features between negative symptoms and neurocognitive deficits in schizophrenia such as prevalence rates, course through the illness, prognostic importance, and impact on social functioning. However, exact mechanisms behind the neurobiology of PNS and how it interacts with neurocognition remain to be explained. Earlier reviews on neuroimaging and neurocognitive correlates of PNS have been focused on studies with broadly defined negative symptoms that were selected by methodological closeness to PNS. In this review, we focus on neural correlates and neurocognitive associations of PNS, and we discuss PNS findings available to date.