Smooth pursuit eye movements in childhood-onset schizophrenia: comparison with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and normal controls

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry



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Medical Subject Headings

Adolescent; Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity; Brain; Cerebral Ventricles; Child; Cognition; Double-Blind Method; Female; Humans; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Male; Psychiatric Status Rating Scales; Psychomotor Performance; Pursuit, Smooth; Schizophrenia, Childhood; Schizophrenic Psychology




Abnormalities of the smooth pursuit eye movements of adults with schizophrenia have been well described. We examined smooth pursuit eye movements in schizophrenic children, contrasting them with normal and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) subjects, to determine whether there is continuity of eye movement dysfunction between childhood- and adult-onset forms of schizophrenia. Seventeen schizophrenic children with onset of illness by age 12, 18 ADHD children, and 22 normal children were studied while engaged in a smooth pursuit eye tracking task. Eye tracking variables were compared across the three groups. Schizophrenic children exhibited significantly greater smooth pursuit impairments than either normal or ADHD subjects. Within the schizophrenic group, there were no significant relationships between eye tracking variables and clinical variables, or ventricular/brain ratio. Childhood-onset schizophrenia is associated with a similar pattern of smooth pursuit abnormalities to that seen in later-onset schizophrenia.

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Citation: Biol Psychiatry. 1996 Dec 1;40(11):1144-54. Link to article on publisher's site

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