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Neuropsychology. 1997 Jul;11(3):437-46.

Is it possible to be schizophrenic yet neuropsychologically normal?

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Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, USA.


This study identified and characterized a group of schizophrenic patients without neuropsychological (NP) impairment. A comprehensive NP battery was administered to 171 schizophrenic outpatients and 63 normal comparison participants. Each participant's NP status was classified through blind clinical ratings by 2 experienced neuropsychologists; 27% of the schizophrenics were classified as NP normal. The NP-normal and NP-impaired schizophrenics were similar in terms of most demographic, psychiatric, and functional characteristics, except that NP-normal patients had less negative and extrapyramidal symptoms, were on less anticholinergic medication, socialized more frequently, and were less likely to have had a recent psychiatric hospitalization. The existence of NP-normal schizophrenics suggests that the pathophysiology underlying the cognitive deficits often associated with schizophrenia may be distinct from that causing some of its core psychiatric features.

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