Twenty-four good premorbid schizophrenics, divided on the basis of paranoid-nonparanoid status, were studied under a double-blind design for differential responses to a phenothiazine medication while receiving drug and placebo regimens.
Autonomic responsivity levels measured by skin resistance and related to drug status did not distinguish between the paranoid-nonparanoid status patients. Significant findings emerged in the interactions between paranoid-nonparanoid status and the drug-placebo condition on only the cognitive and perceptual measures.
The paranoid patient on placebo status consistently did very poorly in both the clinical ratings and the experimental tasks. The nonparanoid patients showed only mild-to-moderate improvement effects while receiving medication and the performance of the nonparanoid receiving placebo was often very similar to that of the paranoid given drugs.
The findings of this study and others emphasize the importance of using the paranoid-nonparanoid and good-poor premorbid groupings when doing clinical and experimental research on schizophrenics.