Neurological soft signs in schizophrenia: gender differences and promising suggestions

G. Merhej 1, S. Hallit 2-5, C. Haddad 2, D. Hachem 2, G. Haddad 2 5

1 Lebanese University, Faculty of Sciences, Fanar, Lebanon; 2 Psychiatric Hospital of the Cross, Jal Eddib, Lebanon; 3 Lebanese University, Faculty of Pharmacy, Beirut, Lebanon; 4 Universite Saint Joseph, Faculty of Pharmacy, Beirut, Lebanon; 5 Universite Saint-Esprit Kaslik, Faculty of Medicine, Kaslik, Lebanon


Neurological soft signs in schizophrenia have been widely discussed, and have been of great interest to many psychiatrists and neuroscientists. Clinical gender differences have been widely detected in schizophrenia, and soft sign studies might help us relate these clinical differences to neurological abnormalities. Our aim was to look for gender differences in “developmental reflexes” soft signs in schizophrenia. 


Fifty patients with schizophrenia and 50 healthy individuals were enrolled in this study. The Neurological Evaluation Scale was used in order to assess for all soft signs in normal subjects and in schizophrenia patients. 


Schizophrenia subjects scored significantly higher than normal subjects in terms of the total NSS score. Male schizophrenia subjects scored significantly higher than female schizophrenia subjects in terms of the glabellar reflex score, and total NSS score of all soft signs.


Gender differences in the glabellar reflex might suggest differences in the etiology of the illness between the genders. We think that these differences might involve the basal ganglia. Future studies involving larger samples might confirm these differences. 

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