Neurocognition, symptomatology, and functional skills in older alcohol-abusing schizophrenia patients

Christopher R. Bowie, Mark R. Serper, Silvana Riggio, Philip D. Harvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Deficits in neurocognitive functioning are common to both schizophrenia and alcoholism. Recent studies suggest that neurocognitive functioning is the most significant predictor of social-adaptive functioning in schizophrenia. Cognitive impairment induced by alcoholism may result in more impaired functional outcome for comorbid patients. Past research examining alcohol-abusing schizophrenia patients has not examined correlates with functional outcome and has generally been limited to relatively younger patients. This study examined neurocognitive functioning and its correlates in alcohol-abusing schizophrenia patients between the ages of 40 and 80. Outpatients with schizophrenia (SZ; n = 17) or both schizophrenia and alcohol abuse or dependence (SZ + ETOH; n = 18) were tested on a neurocognitive battery, rated for symptomatology, and assessed for functional abilities. The results suggest that alcohol abuse in schizophrenia is associated with more impaired functioning across many domains, including memory impairment, negative and general psychopathology symptoms, and adaptive functions. The only significant predictor of impaired functional status in the overall sample and the SZ + ETOH group was neurocognitive functioning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-182
Number of pages8
JournalSchizophrenia Bulletin
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2005


  • Adaptive functions
  • Alcohol
  • Cognition
  • Schizophrenia


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