Abstract It is unclear whether the severity of positive formal thought disorder, a core clinical feature of schizophrenia, is stable or worsening through the chronic course of the illness. The neurocognitive basis for positive thought disorder also remains unclear. The aim of the present paper was to examine the relationship between thought disorder as measured by the Thought Disorder Index (TDI) and duration of illness and neuropsychological indices in 79 patients with schizophrenia. TDI scores increased in proportion to illness duration. TDI scores were not associated with verbal memory or executive functioning. These results indicate an ongoing worsening of positive thought disorder through the course of illness in schizophrenia.