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Zaburzenia teorii umysłu oraz empatii w schizofrenii i chorobie afektywnej dwubiegunowej

Author(s): Dawid Wiener | Marta Andrzejewska | Anna Bodnar | Janusz Rybakowski

Journal: Neuropsychiatria i Neuropsychologia
ISSN 1896-6764

Volume: 6;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 85;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: schizophrenia | bipolar disorder | social cognition | theory of mind | empathy | cognitive functions

Background: Research on social cognition conductedin recent years suggests abnormalities of the theory ofmind (ToM) and empathy among patients withschizophrenia and bipolar disorder (BD). The aim of thisstudy is to compare the deficits of social cognition inboth disorders.Material and methods: The study involved 20 patientsdiagnosed with schizophrenia and 20 diagnosed withBD, among them 8 after a manic episode and 12 aftera depressive episode. The control group consisted of 40healthy subjects. The Eyes Test (Reading the Mind inthe Eyes Test – RME), developed by Simon Baron-Cohenwas used to study ToM. Empathy was assessed throughthe Multifaceted Empathy Test (MET) developed byIzabel Dziobek. To assess cognitive function, CANTABbattery tests were used, which examine motor function(Motor Screening Task – MOT), memory (PatternRecognition Memory – PRM) and cognitive planning(Stockings of Cambridge – SOC).Results: In both groups ToM deficits were found,significantly greater in patients with schizophreniacompared with BD. Both groups had deficits oncognitive aspects of empathy, with schizophreniapatients recognizing negative emotions significantlyworse than patients with BD. The greatest pathologicalhyperactivity of the affective aspect of empathy wasdisplayed by patients with BD after a manic episode.Slightly lower, although significantly greater than in thecontrol group in this respect, were schizophrenicpatients. In both diagnostic groups worse results inpsychomotor speed, memory and spatial planning wereobserved. No relationship was found between the resultsof cognitive functions and disturbances of ToM and bothcognitive and affective aspects of empathy. Conclusions: Disturbances of ToM as well as bothcognitive and affective aspects of empathy were foundin patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. InToM and negative cognitive aspects of empathy theyare larger in patients with schizophrenia. Disturbancesof the affective aspect of empathy are biggest in BDpatients after a manic episode. The study showed theindependence of ToM and empathy.

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