The effects of neuroleptics on attention in adolescent schizophrenics

W. D. Erickson, A. M. Yellin, J. H. Hopwood, G. M. Realmuto, L. M. Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


In contrast to studies of adult psychiatric patients, there was no striking difference between vigilance task performance by 11 newly diagnosed, previously untreated adolescent schizophrenics and that of 58 nonpsychotic adolescent comparison subjects. Neuroleptic treatment failed to improve the performance of the schizophrenic subjects. Sedation, a frequent side effect, was associated with significant prolongation of reaction time and an increase in error rate. Attentional characteristics of adolescent schizophrenics appear to resemble those of other disturbed children. Their response to neuroleptics appears to be limited and the deleterious effects of sedation on attention may well outweigh any clinical benefit attributable to sedation. Findings are discussed in terms of methodology and age-related characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)745-753
Number of pages9
JournalBiological psychiatry
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1984


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