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J Abnorm Psychol. 1997 May;106(2):203-12.

Attentional dysfunctions in neuroleptic-naive and neuroleptic-withdrawn schizophrenic patients and their siblings.

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Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104, USA.


This study examined attentional deficits in 44 schizophrenic patients (24 neuroleptic-naive and 20 neuroleptic-withdrawn patients) across changes in medication status and clinical state using a 1-9 continuous performance test (CPT) with distractors. Patients' attentional selectivity scores (A') were unchanged from the off-medication to on-medication testings (on average, 6 months later), despite significant improvement in both positive and negative symptoms. Both patient groups had significantly lower A' scores than 44 matched healthy controls at each testing. The nonschizophrenic siblings (n = 15) of these patients made significantly more errors of omission and commission than healthy controls. The results suggest that attentional deficits, as measured by this CPT, appear to measure stable markers of schizophrenia that may be associated with genetic vulnerability to the illness.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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