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Prevalence and clinical correlates of extrapyramidal signs and spontaneous dyskinesia in never-medicated schizophrenic patients
Am J Psychiatry 1995;152:1724-1729.
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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: This study assessed the prevalence of extrapyramidal signs and spontaneous dyskinesia in neuroleptic-naive, first-episode schizophrenic patients and examined the clinical correlates. METHOD: In a prospective study of the psychobiology of schizophrenia, the authors examined 89 neuroleptic-naive patients for the presence of extrapyramidal signs by using the Simpson-Angus Rating Scale and for dyskinesia by using the Tardive Dyskinesia Rating Scale. RESULTS: Fifteen patients (16.9%) had extrapyramidal signs, but only one had spontaneous dyskinesia at baseline. Presence of extrapyramidal signs was correlated with more negative symptoms and poorer treatment outcome that was reflected in a longer time to and lower level of remission. There was no correlation of spontaneous extrapyramidal signs with age of patient, age at onset of psychotic symptoms, or baseline psychopathology. There was no difference between patients with and without spontaneous extrapyramidal signs in terms of the subsequent development of persistent tardive dyskinesia, but the patients with spontaneous extrapyramidal signs were more likely to develop parkinsonian side effects after 8 weeks of antipsychotic treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Extrapyramidal signs are present in a proportion of neuroleptic-naive, first-episode schizophrenic patients, which suggests an involvement of these signs in the schizophrenic process that probably reflects basal ganglia pathology. The presence of spontaneous extrapyramidal signs seems to have prognostic significance insofar as it is linked to a poorer outcome and longer time to remission. Spontaneous dyskinesia appears to be a relatively rare finding.

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