Neurological soft signs significantly differentiate schizophrenia patients from healthy controls

Konstantinos N. Fountoulakis, Panagiotis Panagiotidis, X. Gonda, Vasilios Kimiskidis, Ioannis Nimatoudis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Neurological soft signs (NSS) are a group of minor non-localisable neurological abnormalities found more often in patients with schizophrenia. The aim of the current study was to test for the effect of gender, age, parental age, age at onset and clinical symptomatology on NSS. Material and methods: The study sample included 133 patients suffering from schizophrenia according to DSM-IV-TR (77 males and 56 females; aged 33.55±11.22 years old) and 122 normal controls (66 males and 56 females; aged 32.89±9.91 years old). The assessment included the Neurological Evaluation Scale (NES), and a number of scales assessing the clinical symptoms and adverse effects especially extrapyramidal. The statistical analysis included exploratory t-test, simple linear regression analysis, analysis of covariance and the calculation of correlation coefficients. Results: The results of the current study confirm that NSS are more frequent in patients with schizophrenia in comparison with normal controls (Wilks=0.622, p<0.0001), but do not support an effect of gender, age, age at onset, paternal or maternal age, education, medication status or clinical subtype of schizophrenia on NES scores. Discussion: Overall these results suggest that NSS constitute an independent (from the rest of symptoms), core (present in the vast majority of patients) and trait (unrelated to age and probably to the stage of schizophrenia) symptom of schizophrenia which could be of value in the clinical assessment and research of schizophrenia. Overall these results are not in full accord with the literature, but they could serve to fill in gaps and inconsistencies observed so far.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-105
Number of pages9
JournalActa Neuropsychiatrica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2018



  • motor coordination
  • neurological abnormalities
  • schizophrenia
  • soft neurological signs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

Cite this