Cognitive impairments in schizophrenics have been found to precede tardive dyskinesia and to co-exist with other motor deficits. However, little is yet known about the prevalence of cognitive disturbances in patients with neuroleptic-induced parkinsonism. From the literature on idiopathic parkinson, it was inferred that extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS) are accompanied by cognitive dysfunction. 85 schizophrenic in-patients were divided into EPS high and low scorers according to an established criterion (Simpson Angus Scale, cut-off score: 0.4). Cognitive impairments were assessed using a self-rating instrument measuring disturbances of information processing. Patients with high EPS exhibited significantly elevated scores in six of ten cognitive and perceptual subscales (t= 2.1-3.1) as compared to low EPS patients. It is concluded that high EPS patients suffer from cognitive disturbances which are assumed to possess high relevance for both psycho-social and medical treatment. Cognitive problems may, when not considered, disturb compliance, insight of illness and transfer of learnt skills into everyday life.
- Extrapyramidal symptoms