Progressive brain volume changes have been reported in first-episode schizophrenia, but their relationship to the disease process or to other factors remains unclear. We examined such changes in the first year of illness, and related them to 5-year outcome. Progressive brain volume changes, in particular of grey matter, during the first year of illness were found to be significantly associated with clinical and functional outcome 5 years after the first episode. These findings suggest that early dynamic brain volume changes are related to the disease process and predict the longer-term outcome of schizophrenia. Declaration of interest None.