Psychological Medicine

Original Articles

Cognitive dysfunction in chronic schizophrenia followed prospectively over 10 years and its longitudinal relationship to the emergence of tardive dyskinesia

John L. Waddingtona1 c1 and Hanafy A. Youssefa1

a1 Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin; St Davnet's Hospital, Monaghan, Ireland


Basic cognitive function was assessed at initial and at 5- and 10-year follow-up assessments among 41 primarily middle-aged in-patients manifesting the severest form of schizophrenia; additionally, the presence and severity of tardive dyskinesia was evaluated on each occasion. Overall, there was a modest but significant deterioration in cognitive function over the decade, particularly among older men. Longitudinally, patients with persistent tardive (orofacial) dyskinesia continued to show poorer cognitive function than those consistently without such movement disorder, though within neither group did cognitive function change over the decade. Those patients demonstrating prospectively the emergence of orofacial dyskinesia showed a marked deterioration in their cognitive function over the same time-frame within which their movement disorder emerged, but this decline did not progress further thereafter. There appears to exist some modest, progressive deterioration in cognitive function even late in the chronic phase of severe schizophrenic illness which appears to derive primarily from patients showing de novo emergence of tardive orofacial dyskinesia.


c1 Address for correspondence: Professor John L. Waddington, Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, St. Stephen's Green, Dublin 2, Ireland