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September 1978

'Akinetic Depression' in Schizophrenia

Author Affiliations

From the VA Hospital and the Department of Psychiatry, UCLA.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1978;35(9):1101-1107. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1978.01770330075006

• It is possible that some "postpsychotic depressions" may be a toxic effect of antipsychotic drugs. Out of a total of 94 schizophrenic patients, 28 developed a mild akinesia and 32 never developed extrapyramidal symptoms. Those who developed akinesia became less psychotic, but they also experienced a significant, although modest, increase in depression ratings. Successful treatment of the akinesia resulted in significant improvements in depression, somatic concern, anxiety, emotional withdrawal, blunted affect, and motor retardation on both physicians' and nurses' ratings. A high association between akinesia and both objectively rated and subjectively experienced sedative effect indicates that an "akinetic depression" is not likely if the patient does not look or feel drowsy. The 32 nonakinetic patients also became less psychotic, but not more depressed.