Abstract Vestibular reactivity in schizophrenic patients has been investigated by several experimenters,1 who have in general found that after caloric or rotatory stimulation nystagmus was absent or diminished as compared with the response in normal subjects. Angyal and Blackman,2 in a recent and more elaborate study, confirmed this observation on 58 patients and 20 normal subjects. Our purpose in the present study was to determine whether such lesser reactivity in the vestibular apparatus was accompanied by any changes in the muscle tonus as related to postural activity. The effect of rotation on standing steadiness was therefore investigated in normal and in schizophrenic subjects. METHOD AND MATERIAL Subjects. —The subjects included 30 normal persons and 30 healthy male schizophrenic patients. The nonpsychotic, control subjects were drawn from the personnel of the hospital and from students at a nearby university. Their ages ranged from 18 to 36, the average being 22 References 1. Claude, H.; Baruk, H., and Aubry, M.: Contribution à l'étude de la démence précoce catatonique: Inexcitabilité labyrinthique au cours de la catatonie , Rev. neurol. 1:976-980, 1927. 2. Joó, B., and von Meduna, L.: Labyrinthreizungsuntersuchungen bei Schizophrenie , Psychiat.-neurol. Wchnschr. 37:26-29, 1935. 3. Angyal, A., and Blackman, N.: Vestibular Reactivity in Schizophrenia , Arch. Neurol. & Psychiat. 44:611-620 ( (Sept.) ) 1940. 4. Hull, C. L.: An Instrument for Summating the Oscillations of a Line , J. Exper. Psychol. 12:359-361, 1929. 5. Rodnick, E. H., and Freeman, H.: The Effect of Rotation upon Heart Rate and Skin Conductance in Schizophrenic and Normal Subjects, to be published 6. For the entire group of 60 subjects the average time interval was twenty-eight seconds for the control subjects and thirty-one seconds for the psychotic subjects. Consequently, one would ordinarily expect that this greater delay in the onset of recording in the patient group would lead to a slighter reaction. In the larger group the mean rise in the first ten seconds is 4.47 for the normal subjects and 2.31 for the patients, a difference of 2.16. This difference is statistically significant and is essentially the same as that obtained for the 17 pairs of subjects matched for time, i. e., 2.69 (table). Consequently, we may assume that this phenomenon of lesser reactivity holds equally for the entire group and cannot be the result of the difference in the intervals. 7. Angyal, A.; Freeman, H., and Hoskins, R. G.: Physiologic Aspects of Schizophrenic Withdrawal , Arch. Neurol. & Psychiat. 44:621-626 ( (Sept.) ) 1940.
Archives of Neurology & Psychiatry – American Medical Association
Published: Jul 1, 1942
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