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The Effect of Neuroleptics and Tardive Dyskinesia on Smooth-Pursuit Eye Movement in Chronic Schizophrenics

Herbert E. Spohn, PhD; Lolafaye Coyne, PhD; Judy Spray
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1988;45(9):833-840. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1988.01800330059007.
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• We sought to determine whether such state-related factors as neuroleptic treatment and facio-oral tardive dyskinesia (TD) influence smooth-pursuit eye movement (SPEM) in chronic schizophrenics. The design Involved 100 schizophrenics, 64 of whom showed "abnormal" eye tracking. Experimentally drug-withdrawn patients, some of whom were clinically relapsed, were compared with control patients who continued taking medication in prewithdrawal and postwithdrawal SPEM tests. All groups showed a slight worsening in eye-tracking performance on two postwithdrawal tests, but significant group-by—test session "interactions" were not demonstrable. We also determined that patients with TD tend to substitute large, nontracking saccades for SPEM to a significantly greater extent than nondyskinetic patients. Our findings strengthen the supposition that impaired SPEM is a trait in many schizophrenics but suggest that patients with TD be excluded in future studies of SPEM addressed to trait issues.


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