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The test of Random Rhythm Generation and neuropsychological performance in schizophrenic patients
Año del Documento
Neurology Psychiatry and Brain Research, 1999; 7(3):137-142
The objective of this study was the assessment of neuropsychological performance in a sample of schizophrenic patients using a new computer-administered instrument, the Test of Random Rhythm Generation (ARG). The test was applied to a group of 20 DSM-IV schizophrenic patients (SG) and 20 sex- and age-matched controls (CG). The Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) and Frankfurt Complaint Questionnaire (Frankfurter Beschwerdefragebogen, FBF) were used to study patients' psychopathology. The neuroleptic treatment received by each patient during the last month was converted into daily equivalents of chlorpromazine. In the ARG, the subject is asked to press the space key of the computer at a rhythm as irregular as possible. The test aims at assessing the individual's ability to create random rhythms by means of sequences of blows, which is hypothetically associated with a high neuropsychological performance. The data were analyzed by means of three different mathematical techniques. Results showed that schizophrenic patients generated more regular and rhythmic sequences than controls (correlation dimension in SG = 2.78 +/- 0.81, in CG = 3.69 +/- 0.64, p < 0.01). This suggests that neuropsychological performance measured by the ARG was worse in patients compared to controls. ARG is proposed as a new technique to evaluate neuropsychological performance with the following advantages: (1) its short-time application tit usually takes no more than 10 minutes), (2) personnel only require a short training to learn how to apply it, and (3) different analyses of the data are quickly carried out by the computer program.
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