Psychological Medicine

Original Articles

Cognitive functioning and symptomatology in chronic schizophrenia

Hazel E. Nelsona1 c1, Christos Pantelisa1, Kathryn Carruthersa1, Jeremy Spellera1, Sallie Baxendalea1 and Thomas R. E. Barnesa1

a1 Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School, Academic Unit, Horton Hospital, Epsom, Surrey


Chronic schizophrenic patients in a long stay hospital were found to have low levels of intelligence (mean IQ of 80), which was attributed to the effects of substantial intellectual deterioration on below average pre-morbid levels of functioning. Patients with the lowest IQ scores had the least severe positive symptoms but symptomatology was not related to age or extent of intellectual decline. Speed of functioning was relatively more impaired than level of intellectual functioning, with cognitive speed being more affected than motor speed. The severity of negative but not positive symptoms was significantly related to the severity of bradyphrenia (cognitive slowing), a result which would be consistent with the notion of a subcortical pathology in patients with Type II schizophrenia.


c1 Address for correspondence: Dr H. E. Nelson, Department of Psychology, Horton Hospital, Epsom, Surrey KT19 8PZ.