The purpose of this study was to compare the cognitive profiles of men and women with clinically defined schizotypal personality disorder (SPD). We examined the neuropsychological profile of SPD in 26 right-handed females and 31 right-handed males who met DSM-IV criteria for SPD, and matched comparison subjects. Cognitive performance was assessed on measures of abstraction, verbal and spatial intelligence, learning and memory, language, attention, and motor skills. Neuropsychological profiles were constructed by standardizing test scores based on the means and standard deviations of comparison groups matched for sex, age, handedness, ethnicity and parental SES. Overall, SPD subjects showed mild, general decrements in performance in most cognitive domains. However, unlike male SPD subjects, female SPDs did not show relative deficits in verbal learning and abstraction. The results suggest a less severe pattern of cognitive deficits in women with SPD compared to men, consistent with hypotheses of gender differences in cognitive function in schizophrenia.
Keywords: Schizotypal personality disorder, Neuropsychological dysfunction, Gender differences, Abstraction, Frontal networks, Temporolimbic systems