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Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2006 Jun;256(4):201-6. Epub 2005 Nov 14.

Fine motor function and neuropsychological deficits in individuals at risk for schizophrenia.

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Psychiatric Outpatient Department, University Hospital Basel, Petersgraben 4-6, 4031 Basel, Switzerland.


Deficits in fine motor function and neuropsychological performance have been described as risk factors for schizophrenia. In the Basel FEPSY study (Früherkennung von Psychosen; English: Early Detection of Psychosis) individuals at risk for psychosis were identified in a screening procedure (Riecher-Rössler et al. 2005). As a part of the multilevel assessment, 40 individuals at risk for psychosis and 42 healthy controls matched for age, sex and handedness were investigated with a fine motor function test battery and a neuropsychological test battery. Individuals at risk showed lower performances in all subtests of the fine motor function tests, predominantly in dexterity and velocity (wrist/fingers and arm/hand). In the neuropsychological test battery, individuals at risk performed less well compared to healthy controls regarding sustained attention, working memory and perseveration. The combined evaluation of the two test batteries (neuropsychological and fine motor function) separates the two groups into individuals at risk and healthy controls better than each test battery alone. A multilevel approach might therefore be a valuable contribution to detecting beginning schizophrenia.

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