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Pharmacopsychiatry. 1992 Sep;25(5):233-9.

The effects of neuroleptics on facial action in schizophrenic patients.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Tübingen, Germany.


This paper describes the influence of neuroleptic therapy on facial action in drug-naive schizophrenics. In a comparative study of medicated and unmedicated schizophrenic patients, the coordinates of 12 small light-reflecting points, attached to subjects' faces, were computer-recorded and analyzed automatically during a semi-standardized clinical interview. In addition, facial activity in videotaped interviews was coded using the Facial Action Coding System (FACS). Each sample group comprised of eight patients with the DSM-III-R diagnostic criteria "schizophrenia" or "schizophreniform disorder". Subjects were studied on two occasions, one shortly after admission to the hospital, the other three weeks later. Group 1 was unmedicated during the first session, whereas group 2 was medicated throughout the study. Three weeks after the start of medication, at the second interview, both recording methods showed a reduction in facial activity and facial expression across all subjects in group 1. The facial action of patients in group 2, however, remained unchanged.

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