The 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22qDS) and schizophrenia have genetic and neuropsychological similarities, but are likely to differ in memory profile. Confirming differences in memory function between the two disorders, and identifying their genetic determinants, can help to define genetic subtypes in both syndromes, identify genetic risk factors for the emergence of psychosis, and develop pharmacological interventions for cognitive dysfunction. However, no study has compared memory function between 22qDS and schizophrenia, while indirect comparisons are confounded by marked differences in IQ between the two populations. We compared verbal and visual memory in 29 children and adolescents with 22qDS and 15 intellectually matched youths with schizophrenia using age-appropriate, directly comparable, Wechsler scales. Verbal memory was markedly superior in the 22qDS group by 21 points. There were no group differences in visual memory. The inherently low COMT activity in 22qDS merits investigation as a potential protective factor for verbal memory. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.