Actigraphic registration of motor activity reveals a more structured behavioural pattern in schizophrenia than in major depression
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Background: Disturbances in motor activity pattern are seen in both schizophrenia and depression. However, this activity has rarely been studied objectively. The purpose of the present study has been to study the complexity of motor activity patterns in these patients by using actigraphy.
Findings: Motor activity was recorded using wrist-worn actigraphs for periods of 2 weeks in patients with schizophrenia and major depression and compare them to healthy controls. Average motor activity was recorded and three non-parametric variables, interdaily stability (IS), intradaily variability (IV), and relative amplitude (RA) were calculated on the basis of these data. The motor activity was significantly lower both in patients with schizophrenia (153 ± 61, mean ± SD, p < 0.001) and depression (187 ± 84, p < 0.001), compared to controls (286 ± 80). The schizophrenic patients had higher IS and lower IV than the controls reflecting a more structured behavioural pattern. This pattern was particularly obvious in schizophrenic patients treated with clozapine and was not found in depressed patients.
Conclusions: Motor activity was significantly reduced in both schizophrenic and depressed patients. However, schizophrenic patients differed from both depressed patients and controls, demonstrating motor activity patterns marked by less complexity and more structured behaviour. These findings may indicate that disturbances in motor activity reflect different pathophysiological mechanisms in schizophrenia compared to major depression.
CitationBMC Research Notes
Jan O Berle et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.