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Biol Psychiatry. 2000 Mar 1;47(5):413-27.

P300 reduction and prolongation with illness duration in schizophrenia.

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Psychiatry Service, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, California, USA.

Erratum in

  • Biol Psychiatry 2000 Jun 15;47(12):1091.



The P300 component of the auditory event-related potential (ERP) is both reduced in amplitude and delayed in schizophrenia. P300 is prolonged and, less consistently, reduced with normal aging. Additional latency delays are observed in neurodegenerative disorders. We asked whether P300 is reduced and delayed with longer illness duration in schizophrenia, consistent with a neurodegenerative process.


P300 amplitude and latency were recorded to infrequent auditory target stimuli from 35 men with schizophrenia (DSM-III-R) and 26 control men. Effects of current age, age of onset, and duration of illness on P300 were assessed using regression analysis.


P300 amplitude showed no age-related decrease in either group; however, among schizophrenic participants, P300 amplitude correlated positively with onset age and negatively with illness duration. P300 latency correlated positively with age in schizophrenic participants and also tended to increase with age in controls. Slopes of the latency-age relationships were significantly greater in schizophrenic participants than in control participants. Latency also correlated positively with illness duration but showed no relationship to onset age.


P300 amplitude and latency are reduced and delayed with longer illness duration in schizophrenia, consistent with a progressive pathophysiological process. Reduced P300 amplitude may also be a marker of an early onset variant of schizophrenia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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