December 1981

Attentional and Neuromotor Functions of Schizophrenics, Schizoaffectives, and Patients With Other Affective Disorders

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Human Development, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, and the Binghamton (NY) Psychiatric Center.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1981;38(12):1355-1358. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1981.01780370057006

• Evaluation of attentional and neuromotor functions in 45 patients meeting the Research Diagnostic Criteria for schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and other affective disorders showed that schizoaffectives could not be distinguished from patients with other affective disorders by any of the measures. However, schizophrenics differed from the other diagnostic groups on four measures: they showed significantly more oculomotor, stereognosis, and right-left identification abnormalities and more errors of omission on the attentional task under distraction conditions. The findings of this study are consistent with earlier reports that schizoaffectives are not greatly different from patients with other affective disorders in family history, treatment response, or long-term outcome. There is not yet sufficient etiologic or behavioral evidence to indicate that schizoaffective disorder is a valid diagnostic category.