Helsingin yliopisto


Helsingin yliopiston verkkojulkaisut

University of Helsinki, Helsinki 2006

Assessment of neuroleptic-induced movement disorders in a naturalistic schizophrenia population

Sven Janno

Doctoral dissertation, June 2006.
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Department of Psychiatry.

The prevalence and assessment of neuroleptic-induced movement disorders (NIMDs) in a naturalistic schizophrenia population that uses conventional neuroleptics were studied. We recruited 99 chronic schizophrenic institutionalized adult patients from a state nursing home in central Estonia. The total prevalence of NIMDs according to the diagnostic criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV) was 61.6%, and 22.2% had more than one NIMD.

We explored the reliability and validity of different instruments for measuring these disorders. First, we compared DSM-IV with the established observer rating scales of Barnes Akathisia Rating Scale (BARS), Simpson-Angus Scale (SAS) (for neuroleptic-induced parkinsonism, NIP) and Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale (AIMS) (for tardive dyskinesia), all three of which have been used for diagnosing NIMD. We found a good overlap of cases for neuroleptic-induced akathisia (NIA) and tardive dyskinesia (TD) but somewhat poorer overlap for NIP, for which we suggest raising the commonly used threshold value of 0.3 to 0.65.

Second, we compared the established observer rating scales with an objective motor measurement, namely controlled rest lower limb activity measured by actometry. Actometry supported the validity of BARS and SAS, but it could not be used alone in this naturalistic population with several co-existing NIMDs. It could not differentiate the disorders from each other. Quantitative actometry may be useful in measuring changes in NIA and NIP severity, in situations where the diagnosis has been made using another method.

Third, after the relative failure of quantitative actometry to show diagnostic power in a naturalistic population, we explored descriptive ways of analysing actometric data, and demonstrated diagnostic power pooled NIA and pseudoakathisia (PsA) in our population. A subjective question concerning movement problems was able to discriminate NIA patients from all other subjects. Answers to this question were not selective for other NIMDs.

Chronic schizophrenia populations are common worldwide, NIMD affected two-thirds of our study population. Prevention, diagnosis and treatment of NIMDs warrant more attention, especially in countries where typical antipsychotics are frequently used. Our study supported the validity and reliability of DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for NIMD in comparison with established rating scales and actometry. SAS can be used with minor modifications for screening purposes. Controlled rest lower limb actometry was not diagnostically specific in our naturalistic population with several co-morbid NIMDs, but it may be sensitive in measuring changes in NIMDs.

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Last updated 21.04.2006

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