Glucose is the principal energy substrate for the brain, and alterations in glucose availability can alter neuronal function, including cognitive performance. Investigators have previously demonstrated glucose-induced memory and attentional improvements in humans, including a previous report from this group in subjects with schizophrenia. However, the age- and dose-dependence of this effect in schizophrenia has not been addressed. This within-subjects, double-blind experiment evaluated the cognitive effects of placebo-controlled, multiple fixed-dose oral glucose administration (0 g, 25 g, 50 g, 75 g) in younger and older patients with schizophrenia (n=20) and healthy age-matched controls (n=20). Each dose condition was administered on a different morning after a 9-h fast, with cognitive testing and plasma sampling following dose administration on each day. Older patients demonstrated dose-dependent improvements in recall performance on a spatial delayed response task and reaction time on a delayed match to sample task, while younger patients had decreases in attentional performance at the 75-g dose compared to placebo. As in previous reports, patients demonstrated higher plasma glucose and insulin concentrations than controls in response to fixed glucose dosing. The results provide further evidence that glucose and/or insulin can regulate brain functions relevant to memory and attention, and suggest that systemic changes in glucose regulation in schizophrenia deserve further study. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.