Neuroleptics reverse attention asymmetries in schizophrenic patients

Rachel Tomer, Pierre Flor-Henry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Discussions of hemispheric asymmetry in psychopathology are often confounded by the effects of medication. We examined the effect of neuroleptic drugs on attention asymmetries in acutely psychotic patients admitted for the first time to a psychiatric hospital before the initiation of drug treatment and again after a period of treatment with neuroleptics. Overall performance did not change significantly; however, attention asymmetry was clearly related to the medication status of the patient: unmedicated patients showed inattention to the right hemispace, which changed to more prominent left-sided inattention when medicated, A longer time on medication or a higher daily dose were associated with a shift of inattention from the right to left hemispace. This suggests that neuroleptics may normalize left hemisphere performance, at the expense of deteriorated right hemisphere performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)852-860
Number of pages9
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Apr 1989
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
From the Department of Psychiatry. tiniversity of. Alberta. Edmonton. and Alberta Hospital Edmonton. Canada Supported in part by the Alberta Hentage Foundation for Medical Research. A preliminary versmn of this study was reported at the 1988 annual meeting of the Society of Bmlogcal Psychiatry. Address reprint requratr to Dr. Rachel Tamer. Alberta Hospital Edmonton. Box 307. Edmonton. Alhena. Canada TSJ 257 Received March ?I, 198X: re\I\ed Jul\ 5. 198X

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry


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