Pharmacopsychiatry 2003; 36 - 321
DOI: 10.1055/s-2003-825564

The influence of olanzapine on facial expression of emotions in schizophrenia – An improved facial EMG study

K Wolf 1, R Mass 1, F Kiefer 1, K Eckert 1, N Weinhold 1, K Wiedemann 1, D Naber 1
  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg

Purpose of the study was to investigate the facial expression of emotions (FEE) in schizophrenic patients during Olanzapine treatment with an improved facial-EMG method and to describe correlations between FEE and psychopathology.

15 schizophrenic patients with Olanzapine over 2 weeks compared to 15 healthy subjects referring to the activity of five facial muscles. Emotions were induced by pictures (IAPS). Muscle activity was measured with a new, highly sensitive and discriminative facial-EMG, measuring pre-visible facial muscle activity. PANSS and EPS were administered.

Unmedicated schizophrenic patients showed less joy/smile reactions than controls. Olanzapine increases the smile frequency in the first week of treatment. In the second week, Olanzapine reaches a steady state. The smile frequency and its changes over time are related inversely with the PANSS depressive syndrome. The changes of facial muscle activity are not correlated with EPS. Preliminary results of the comparison with a Risperidone group (n=6) will be demonstrated.