The British Journal of Psychiatry

Abstract

In this double-blind, four-week study, 28 chronic schizophrenic patients receiving neuroleptic medication plus the antiparkinsonian drug, benztropine mesylate, were either switched to placebo or maintained on benztropine. Patients withdrawn from benztropine reliably increased their overall scores on the Wechsler Memory Scale in comparison with the drug group. Sub-test scores suggest that deficits in attention and concentration were induced by treatment with benztropine. Psychotic decompensation appeared to develop simultaneously with extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS) in some patients, but only 14.2 per cent of the placebo group experienced extrapyramidal symptoms severe enough to require resumption of benztropine therapy. It is suggested that antiparkinsonian agents should be prescribed only if and when EPS occur.