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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 50 (2008) 11, 713 - 724

Review article

Psychomotor symptoms in schizophrenia: the importance of a forgotten syndrome

M. Morrens, W. Hulstijn, B.G.C. Sabbe

Patients with schizophrenia display catatonia, psychomotor retardation, neurological soft signs (nss) and neurological hard signs. There is considerable confusion about these psychomotor symptoms.
aim To discuss the symptoms with the help of the existing literature.
method Relevant articles were retrieved from Medline.
results These psychomotor symptoms are intrinsic features of the illness and cannot be regarded as mere side effects of treatment with antipsychotics. The symptoms seem to become progressively worse in the course of the illness and are associated with a poor prognosis. In contrast to cognitive symptoms, psychomotor symptoms are associated with positive symptoms. The various psychomotor symptoms are associated with the same brain structures and may themselves be interlinked.
conclusion There is therefore considerable evidence to support the existence of a cluster of psychomotor symptoms, in addition to positive, negative and cognitive symptoms.


keywords catatonia, extrapyramidal symptoms, neurological hard signs, neurological soft signs, psychomotor slowing, schizophrenia