Memory performance of geriatric and nongeriatric chronic schizophrenic patients: A cross-sectional study

Katherine M. Putnam, Philip D. Harvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Memory functioning has been studied extensively in nongeriatric schizophrenic patients, leading to the suggestion that schizophrenic patients manifest a 'subcortical' pattern of memory deficits. Few previous studies examined very poor outcome patients with a chronic course of hospitalization. This study examined the association of age and global cognitive dysfunction with verbal and spatial learning and delayed recall, as well as examining differential impairments in delayed recall as compared to delayed recognition memory. Sixty-six chronic schizophrenic patients were studied, with 30 of these patients over the age of 65. Verbal (California Verbal Learning Test) and spatial (Biber Figure Learning Test) serial learning and delayed memory tests were administered. All aspects of memory functioning were correlated with estimates of global cognitive status. When global cognitive status was controlled, age effects were still found for the majority of the memory measures. Delayed recognition memory was not spared, being performed as poorly as delayed recall. In contrast to previous studies of better-outcome patients with schizophrenia, geriatric patients with chronic schizophrenia performed more poorly than nongeriatric patients. The lack of sparing of delayed recognition memory suggests that previous findings of specific recall memory deficit and a subcortical profile of memory impairments may apply to schizophrenic patients with less severe global cognitive impairments. These data suggest that poor-outcome patients may have a pattern of memory impairments that has some features in common with cortical dementia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)494-501
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognitive deficits
  • Figural memory
  • Geriatric schizophrenia
  • Learning
  • Verbal memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Psychology(all)


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