Original Paper

European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience

, Volume 265, Issue 2, pp 147-154

First online:

Antipsychotic-induced parkinsonism is associated with working memory deficits in schizophrenia-spectrum disorders

  • Stéphane PotvinAffiliated withCentre de recherche de l, Institut Universitaire en Santé Mentale de MontréalDepartment of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal Email author 
  • , Ginette AubinAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of MontrealCentre de recherche du Centre Hospitalier de l, Université de Montréal
  • , Emmanuel StipAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of MontrealCentre de recherche du Centre Hospitalier de l, Université de Montréal

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In view of the significant cognitive deficits in schizophrenia and their impact on patients’ social and occupational functioning, and considering that the influence potential influence of antipsychotic-induced extrapyramidal symptoms on cognition in schizophrenia remains poorly understood, the current study sought to identify the clinical, socio-demographic and neurologic predictors of the cognitive performance of schizophrenia patients. Eighty-two schizophrenia-spectrum (DSM-IV criteria) outpatients were recruited. Psychiatric symptoms were evaluated with the Positive And Negative Syndrome Scale and the Calgary Depression Scale for Schizophrenia. Extrapyramidal symptoms were evaluated with the Extrapyramidal Symptoms Rating Scale, while spatial working, planning abilities and visual paired associates learning were evaluated with the CAmbridge Neuropsychological Tests Automated Battery. The Stroop test was also administered. Multivariate hierarchic linear regression analyses were performed. We found that negative symptoms were associated with cognitive flexibility, planning, visual learning and working memory performance in schizophrenia. Age, sex, number of hospitalizations and antipsychotic type also emerged as significant predictors. More importantly, we found a significant association between antipsychotic-induced parkinsonism and working memory performance. The fact that negative symptoms and socio-demographic variables predicted cognitive performance in schizophrenia is consistent with the previous literature on the topic. The finding of an association between parkinsonism and working memory may have clinical implications, since working memory deficits are considered putative endophenotypes of schizophrenia and are known to impair patients’ social and occupational functioning. Our results will need to be replicated in longitudinal studies involving larger samples of patients.


Schizophrenia Parkinsonism Working memory Cognitive flexibility Negative symptoms