Neurologist Questions Forgetfulness

Does a schizophrenia patient also suffer from memory loss?

My cousin has been suffering from schizophrenia for the past year. He's been taking his pills daily, which has made his symptoms lessen. But, lately he's been forgetful. Could this be a side effect of the medication or a symptom of his mental illness?

7 Answers

Depending on the medication, sometimes there may be what the profession calls 'cognitive dulling'. Psychosis itself is extremely preoccupying and the person may appear inattentive and forgetful.
All of the above..with schizophrenia there can be some cognition problems as well as some meds used may affect memory...recommend talk to the prescribing doctor about this issue...perhaps there should be a change in medicine...don’t just let your cousin settle for this without further exploration to see possible causation....Just to throw it out there, there is a newer medication for Schizophrenia, Vraylar, which while helping with all symptoms of schizophrenia it is also helping a lot with cognition...I.e. memory and brain functioning might be a med for cousin to ask their doctor about. Best of luck. DR. Amy
Some medications for Schizophrenia can have side effects affecting thinking process and memory. Schizophrenia also causes cognitive (thinking process and memory) problems. The patient should discuss his concerns with his psychiatrist so that these symptoms could be further evaluated and appropriate interventions can be done, such as medication dose adjustment, change of medications, or even neoropsychological assessments can be done.
Could be either or both. They should check with their prescriber.

No, schizophrenia does not cause memory loss per se. Medications can make the retrieval of memories more difficult, though.
It is more likely a result of the medication, But I recommend a thorough neurological evaluation in case it is a result of something entirely different.

Donald A. Moses MD
Can be either or both