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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 44 (2002) 11, 733 - 738

Short report

Memory disorders in schizophrenia

J. Peuskens, M. De Hert, F. Janssen, J. Hulselmans, M. D'Haenens, B. Sabbe

summary Memory deficits in schizophrenia are important and probably relatively more pronounced than other neurocognitive deficits. They seem to be a central characteristic of the schizophrenic syndrome and seem to be related to structural and functional brain abnormalities, especially in the frontal and temporal regions. Deficits are found in the different memory functions. Impairment of the working memory however is most pronounced, but also problems in semantic memory are evident: recall is more difficult than recognition. Memory impairment may underlie positive and negative symptoms and seriously impede psychosocial integration of schizophrenic patients. Treatment with classical antipsychotics has no or poor therapeutic effect; sometimes even a deleterious effect on memory impairment occurs. The first results of controlled clinical trials however seem to indicate that treatment with novel antipsychotics may have beneficial effects.

keywords long-term memory, schizophrenia, short-term memory, working memory