The influence of antipsychotic treatment on the neuropsychological and psychomotor performance of schizophrenic patients is still a subject of investigation. The present study was designed to evaluate the effects of atypical neuroleptics in comparison with a conventional dopamine antagonist neuroleptic (haloperidol) on several dimensions of psychomotor performance (visual perception, attention, reaction time, and sensorimotor performance) considered to be of relevance in evaluating driving fitness. Psychomotor performance was assessed by means of the ART 90, a computerized Act and React Test which is generally used in diagnosis of psychomotor performance. The 49 participating patients were examined at discharge following psychopathological stabilisation; 20 received haloperidol, 29 received an atypical neuroleptic. Our findings demonstrate a remarkably reduced psychomotor performance in the haloperidol-treated group of schizophrenic patients compared with patients treated with atypical neuroleptics. Only 1 (5%) subject passed all subtests without major failures and could be regarded as competent to drive. Among patients with atypical neuroleptics, 7 patients (24%) passed all test parameters without major failures.

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