Pharmacopsychiatry 2003; 36 - 251
DOI: 10.1055/s-2003-825494

Saccadic eye movements and cognitive performance in schizophrenic patients treated with clozapine or flupentixol

HJ Schewe 1, D Rufer 1, R Uebelhack 1, R Bachus 1
  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Charité – Universitìtsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Complex oculomotor dysfunctions are well known in schizophrenia but only few studies report abnormalities of basic saccadic metrics (1, 2). Correlations between reflexive saccadic parameters and cognitive performance have been described in patients with dementia and depression (3).

In this study we investigated cognitive performance and horizontal saccadic eye movements in 29 schizophrenic patients treated with clozapine or flupentixol. A large neuropsychological test battery was used to assess executive function, memory and attention. Saccadic eye movements were measured by infrared oculography.

Significant differences were found between patients and healthy controls in the number of saccadic intrusions and correct saccades. A comparison of patients treated with clozapine or flupentixol showed no significant difference in saccadic and only marginal difference in neuropsychological parameters. A strong positive correlation was found between saccadic latency and cognitive impairment.

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