Neurocognitive Phenotypes in Severe Childhood Psychiatric Disorders

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This study investigated the presence of potential neurocognitive phenotypes within a severe childhood psychiatric sample. A medical chart review was conducted for 106 children who received a neuropsychological evaluation during children’s psychiatric inpatient program hospitalization. A hierarchical cluster analysis was conducted to identify distinct clinical clusters based on neurocognitive measures. Cluster analysis identified four distinct clusters, subsequently labeled neurocognitive phenotypes: “intact cognition” (27%), “global dysfunction” (20%), “organization/planning” (21%), and “inhibition-memory” (32%). Significant differences were identified in history of legal involvement and antipsychotic medications at hospital admission. Differences between none-minimal and moderate-high neurocognitive dysfunction were identified in age, amount of diagnoses and antipsychotic medications at admission, and hospital length of stay. Current findings provide preliminary evidence of underlying neurocognitive phenotypes within severe childhood psychiatric disorders. Findings highlight the importance of neuropsychological evaluation in the treatment of childhood psychiatric disorders.

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