In this study, we investigated experimentally the effects of different activation procedures on both motor and psychic symptoms in of 11 in-patients with acute neuroleptic-induced akathisia using the Hillside and Barnes akathisia rating scales and videotape rating technique. Motor activation was achieved by finger tapping. Cognitive activation tasks consisted of sequences of mental calculations which were designed either to be easy to perform or to produce stress due to a given time limit or to more difficult calculation operations, respectively. Motor as well as psychic symptoms of akathisia decreased during both motor and simple cognitive activation without stress. By contrast, stress-producing calculation tasks led to a n increase in motor and psychic symptoms immediately following the task performance. These possibly specific effects of activation procedures on symptoms might be useful in differentiating acute neuroleptic-induced akathisia from other neuroleptic-induced and extrapyramidal movement disorders.
ASJC Scopus subject areas