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Improved antisaccade performance with risperidone in schizophrenia


Objective: Antisaccade errors are consistently increased in schizophrenia. As they have been demonstrated only in cross sectional studies, it is unclear how they vary longitudinally or with different medications. In a previous cross sectional study, we reported a trend towards a reduction in error rates in a patient group treated with risperidone, compared with clozapine and sulpiride treated groups.

Methods: Gap random and antisaccade paradigms were performed on two occasions in the same sample of DSM-IV schizophrenic patients (n=12) in transition between conventional antipsychotic drugs and risperidone. A cross over design was used with six patients switching from risperidone to conventional (group I) and six in the opposite direction (group II). A control sample (n=12) was also tested on two occasions and their performance compared. The effects of practice between first and second testing and of switching between conventional antipsychotic drugs and risperidone and vice versa was also evaluated.

Results: A significant reduction in error rate was demonstrated during risperidone treatment (n=12), compared with conventional APD treatment. Switching from conventional to risperidone produced a reduction in errors, and vice versa.

Conclusions: Treatment with risperidone was associated with improvement in antisaccade errors.

  • eye movements
  • schizophrenia
  • atypical antipsychotic drugs
  • SEMs saccadic eye movements
  • DLPFC, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex
  • APDs, antipsychotic drugs
  • SAPS, scale for the assessment of positive symptoms
  • SANS, scale for the assessment of negative symptoms

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