Psychological Medicine

Preliminary Communication

Amnesic syndrome in schizophrenia

P. J. McKennaa1 c1, D. Tamlyna1, C. E. Lunda1, A. M. Mortimera1, S. Hammonda1 and A. D. Baddeleya1

a1 Fulbourn Hospital MRC Applied Psychology Unit, Cambridge; Leeds Rotational Training Scheme, University of Leeds; St Luke's Hospital, Huddersfield


Memory impairment is not usually considered to form part of the clinical picture of schizophrenia, except perhaps in severely deteriorated patients. In a survey of 60 patients encompassing all grades of severity and chronicity poor memory performance was found to be common, sometimes substantial, and disproportionately pronounced compared to the degree of general intellectual impairment. Although associated with severity and chronicity of illness, impaired memory was by no means confined to old, institutionalized, or markedly deteriorated patients. The pattern of deficit appeared to resemble that of the classic amnesic syndrome rather than that seen in Alzheimer-type dementia.


c1 Address for correspondence: Dr P. J. McKenna, Fulbourn Hospital, Fulbourn, Cambridge CB1 5EF.