Smooth pursuit and saccadic abnormalities in first-episode schizophrenia

Hutton, S B, Crawford, T J, Puri, B K, Duncan, L J, Chapman, M, Kennard, C, Barnes, T R and Joyce, E M (1998) Smooth pursuit and saccadic abnormalities in first-episode schizophrenia. Psychological Medicine, 28 (3). pp. 685-692. ISSN 00332917

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Abstract

Background. Previous studies of oculomotor dysfunction in schizophrenia have tended to concentrate on abnormalities of smooth pursuit eye tracking in chronic medicated patients. We report the results of a study of smooth pursuit, reflexive and antisaccade performance in drug naive and antipsychotic treated first-episode schizophrenic patients. Methods. Smooth pursuit and saccadic eye movements were recorded in 36 first-episode schizophrenic patients and 36 controls matched for age and estimated IQ. The schizophrenic patients were divided into drug-naive (N = 17) and antipsychotic treated groups (N = 19). Results. Smooth pursuit velocity gain was significantly lower than controls only in the drug-naive patients. The treated patients did not differ significantly from either the controls or the untreated group. In an antisaccade paradigm both treated and drug-naive schizophrenic patients demonstrated an increased number of errors, but only drug-naive patients also demonstrated an increased latency in initiating correct antisaccades. Conclusions. These impairments are unlikely to be due to a generalized deficit in oculomotor function in the schizophrenic groups, as there were no differences between the groups in saccadic metrics on a reflexive saccade task. The results show that both smooth pursuit and saccadic abnormalities are present at the onset of schizophrenia and are integral to the disorder.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Samuel Hutton
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:30
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2012 16:57
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/13022
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