Verbal fluency deficits in geriatric and nongeriatric chronic schizophrenic patients

J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 1997 Fall;9(4):584-90. doi: 10.1176/jnp.9.4.584.


This study examined age-related differences and correlates of deficits on phonological and category fluency tasks performed by schizophrenic patients. Equal numbers (n = 41) of geriatric (age > 64) and nongeriatric chronically hospitalized schizophrenic patients were examined with tests of phonological and category fluency, verbal learning and delayed recall, confrontation naming, and reading, as well as overall estimates of cognitive impairment. Both types of fluency tests were performed very poorly by both groups. Age-related differences were found to be statistically significant. In both groups, category fluency impairments were correlated with deficits in naming, while phonological fluency deficits were best predicted by memory impairments. These data suggest that category fluency impairments are part of a general profile of impaired semantic functioning, whereas phonological fluency deficits may be induced by alterations in information processing capacity.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / psychology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Recall / physiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Reading
  • Regression Analysis
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Verbal Behavior / physiology*
  • Verbal Learning / physiology