Early and very early-onset schizophrenia compared with adult-onset schizophrenia: French FACE-SZ database

Brain Behav. 2020 Feb;10(2):e01495. doi: 10.1002/brb3.1495. Epub 2020 Jan 7.


Objective: To compare the clinical symptomatology in patients with Early-Onset Schizophrenia (EOS, N = 176), especially the subgroup Very Early Onset Schizophrenia (VEOS) and Adult Onset Schizophrenia (AOS, N = 551).

Method: In a large French multicentric sample, 727 stable schizophrenia patients, classified by age at onset of the disorder, were assessed using standardized and extensive clinical and neuropsychological batteries: AOS with onset ≥ 18 years and EOS with onset < 18 years (including 22 VEOS < 13 years).

Results: The importance of better diagnosing EOS group, and in particularly VEOS, appeared in a longer DUP Duration of Untreated Psychosis (respectively, 2.6 years ± 4.1 and 8.1 years ± 5.7 vs. 1.0 years ± 2.5), more severe symptomatology (PANSS Positive And Negative Syndrome Scale scores), and lower educational level than the AOS group. In addition, the VEOS subgroup had a more frequent childhood history of learning disabilities and lower prevalence of right-handedness quotient than the AOS.

Conclusion: The study demonstrates the existence of an increased gradient of clinical severity from AOS to VEOS. In order to improve the prognosis of the early forms of schizophrenia and to reduce the DUP, clinicians need to pay attention to the prodromal manifestations of the disease.

Keywords: adult-onset schizophrenia; duration of untreated psychosis; early-onset schizophrenia; symptomatology; very early-onset schizophrenia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age of Onset*
  • Child
  • Databases, Factual / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychotic Disorders* / diagnosis
  • Psychotic Disorders* / epidemiology
  • Schizophrenia* / diagnosis
  • Schizophrenia* / epidemiology
  • Schizophrenic Psychology