Objective: This study evaluated neurologic functioning in adolescents with schizophrenia with onset of psychosis before age 13.
Method: The authors administered a structured neurologic examination to 21 adolescents with early-onset schizophrenia and 27 healthy age- and sex-matched comparison subjects.
Results: The adolescents with schizophrenia had a high frequency of neurologic abnormalities. Neurologic signs decreased with age in the healthy comparison subjects but not in the subjects with schizophrenia.
Conclusions: The adolescents with schizophrenia had a high burden of neurologic impairment and a pattern of abnormalities similar to that of adults with schizophrenia. The persistence of neurologic signs in the adolescents with schizophrenia, which faded with age in the healthy comparison adolescents, supports earlier evidence of a delay in or failure of normal brain development during adolescence.