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Aging and outcome in schizophrenia

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Jeste DV, Twamley EW, Eyler Zorrilla LT, Golshan S, Patterson TL, Palmer BW. Aging and outcome in schizophrenia.

Acta Psychiatr Scand 2003: 107: 336–343. © Blackwell Munksgaard 2003. Objective: 

Controversy exists about long-term outcome of schizophrenia, but few studies have compared older out-patients to normal subjects. We sought to examine the relationship of age to clinical features, psychopathology, movement abnormalities, quality of well-being, and everyday functioning in schizophrenia out-patients and normal comparison subjects, and to further characterize these outcomes in elderly schizophrenia out-patients. Method: 

A total of 290 out-patients and 144 comparison subjects, aged 40–85 years, underwent comprehensive assessments. Results: 

Among patients, aging was associated with decreased psychopathology, even after controlling for duration of illness. There was no accelerated aging-related decline on any measure in the patients. Yet, elderly patients were more impaired than comparison subjects on various measures. Conclusion: 

The course of schizophrenia in late life appears stable, but most elderly patients remain symptomatic and impaired. Our findings dispute notions of either progressive deterioration or marked improvement in aging schizophrenia out-patients.
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Keywords: aged; middle age; out-patients; psychotic disorders

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, CA and VA San Diego Healthcare System, San Diego, CA, USA

Publication date: 2003-05-01

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