Background The Hillside Study of Risk and Early Detection in Schizophrenia is a prospective study of young probands (ages 14–28) and their at-risk siblings (ages 14–24). A major goal is the identification of early predictors of illness that will facilitate intervention. The project design and pilot study are discussed.
Method Fifteen adolescents were compared to 14 typical age-of-onset adults, all undergoing their first hospitalisation for schizophrenia.
Results There were no differences between adolescents and adults on any of the measures administered (i.e. attention, eye tracking, neurocognitive or clinical). In addition, for the sample overall, no association was found between neurocognitive functions and clinical state, either at admission or after treatment.
Conclusions Individuals with adolescent onset of schizophrenia are considered to be representative of schizophrenia in general. Furthermore, neurocognitive deficits and clinical symptoms are concluded to be two independent classess of risk indicators.