Why does postpsychotic IQ decline in childhood-onset schizophrenia?

Jeffrey S. Bedwell, Barbara Keller, Amy K. Smith, Susan Hamburger, Sanjiv Kumra, Judith L. Rapoport

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Objective: The authors' goal was to examine whether the postpsychotic decline in full-scale IQ during adolescence for patients with childhood-onset schizophrenia is due to a dementing process or simply failure to acquire new information and skills. Method: Linear regression was used to determine the rate of change for scaled and raw scores on subtests of 31 patients with childhood-onset schizophrenia. The resulting slopes were examined and related to changes in the patients' brains determined by magnetic resonance imaging. Results: Three postpsychotic subtest scaled scores declined significantly: picture arrangement, information, and block design. In contrast, there was no decline in the non-age-corrected (raw) scores for any subtest. A significant correlation was found between decrease in hippocampal volume and a smaller increase in raw score on the information subtest. Conclusions: The decline during adolescence in the full-scale IQ of patients with childhood-onset schizophrenia does not reflect dementia but, rather, an inability to acquire new information and abilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1996-1997
Number of pages2
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 1999


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