A neuropsychological study of early onset schizophrenia

Anne L. Hoff*, Debra Harris, William O. Faustman, Michael Beal, Diana DeVilliers, Robert D. Mone, James A. Moses, John G. Csernansky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Characterizing a pattern of cognitive dysfunction in early onset schizophrenic patients may illuminate neurodevelopmental contributions to the illness. A cohort of chronically institutionalized schizophrenic patients with a variable range of age of onset (range 7-29 years) was administered a comprehensive battery of neuropsychological tests that included the Luria-Nebraska Neuropsychological Test Battery. After statistical control of age, parental socioeconomic class (SES) effects, and thorazine equivalents, age of illness onset was positively correlated with performance on measures of motor ability, perceptual motor and pure motor speed, receptive and expressive speech, and overall cognition function, and inversely related to severity of negative symptoms; that is, earlier age of onset was associated with worse cognitive performance and an increase in negative symptoms. Tnis study demonstrates that an early age of onset in schizophrenic illness is associated with impairment on tasks which involve motor and language abilities, functions linked to the frontal, temporal, and subcortical regions of the brain. This association is not due to the effects of medication, negative symptoms, or duration of illness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-28
Number of pages8
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - May 1996


  • early onset
  • neuropsychology
  • schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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