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J Psychiatr Res. 1990;24(1):9-24.

Voluntary control of saccadic eye movements in patients with schizophrenic and affective disorders.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan.


We have examined visually guided saccade and antisaccade tasks in 32 schizophrenics, 13 patients with affective disorders and 36 normal controls. Latencies of saccades were within the normal range in all patients examined. In the antisaccade task, 26/32 schizophrenics showed more errors and/or longer latencies, whereas 11/13 patients with affective disorders showed normal results. One manic patient showed significantly longer latency, and one bipolar patient showed a borderline error rate (15%). These results indicate that the antisaccade abnormalities in schizophrenics were not correlated with age, duration of illness, length of education or quantities of medication. None of the schizophrenics with normal antisaccades showed abnormalities in CT scans, while 73% of the schizophrenics who showed both higher error rate and longer latencies showed atrophy of the frontal cortex. The scores of conceptual disorganization and motor retardation in Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) were significantly higher in schizophrenics with abnormal antisaccades, while acute symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations were not correlated with the abnormalities.

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