Psychiatry Res 2012 Jul 14;198(2):241-7. Epub 2012 Apr 14.
University Mental Health Research Institute, 2 Soranou Efesiou Str., Papagou 156 01, Athens, Greece.
There is growing interest in the connection between neurological soft signs (NSS) and schizophrenia spectrum disorders such as schizotypal personality disorder. The association between NSS and schizotypy was investigated in a subgroup of 169 young healthy male military conscripts included in the Athens Study of Psychosis Proneness and Incidence of Schizophrenia. During their first 2 weeks in the National Basic Air Force Training Centre (T(1)-first assessment), subjects completed the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ), the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R), and the Raven's Progressive Matrices (RPM). Then, 2 years later (T(2)-second assessment), at the time of military discharge, they were tested for NSS with the Neurological Evaluation Scale (NES) and reevaluated with the SPQ, the SCL-90-R and additionally the Structured Clinical Interview for Personality Disorders (SCID-II) for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Third Edition, Revised (DSM-III-R). NSS were more prominent in conscripts with high schizotypy; scores on Sequencing of Complex Motor Acts (SCMA) and the "Other Soft Signs" (OSS) subscales were correlated with high schizotypy at both T(1) and T(2). Increased levels of SCMA as well as the total NSS score were correlated at both T(1) and T(2) with the interpersonal SPQ factor (reflecting negative schizotypy). The findings support the proposal that negative schizotypy might be associated with subtle neurodevelopmental abnormalities.