Subject: Early Detection of Schizophrenia via Movement Analysis

Date: Tue, 19 Nov 1996 13:01:12 -0600
Organization: Deja News Usenet Posting Service

Our lab is interested in the analysis of movement and its implications for
research into autism and schizophrenia. We use frame-by-frame video and
the Eshkol Wachmann Movement Analysis system, an objective, reliable and
unambiguous system for the analysis of movement *per se*. (See

We have been analyzing home videos sent to us by parents of children who
were later diagnosed as autistic, usually around age 3 to 4, and sometimes
much later, which is the norm. As early as 4 months of age we have found
disturbances in the movements of these children. Many times we find that
they reach the normal motor milestones of sitting, crawling, etc normally,
but the actual patterns of movement differ from those of non-autistic
children. In other words, they "get the job done" but, in a different
way. The common "wait and see" attitude of many general practitioners
results from the difficulty which many of these and other professionals
have in identifying autism early. This leads to an unfortunate delay in
treatment. We believe our work can contribute to awareness of subtle
movement differences evident in the first few months of life and thus
facilitate early detection and treatment.

We would like very much to extend this work into studying movement in
schizophrenia across the lifespan, beginning in infancy, by analyzing
videos of individuals as children who were later diagnosed as
schizophrenic. As in autism, early diagnosis of schizophrenia is
essential to beneficial treatment of the individual and for the
development of new and better treatments. Also similar to autism is the
assumption that abnormalities in movement do *not* exist early in
schizophrenia, before other symptoms become apparent. We have found that
this is the not the case for autism. Identification of movement
abnormalities can also provide insight into the biological bases of such
disorders and serve to further our understanding of various etiologies,
developments and prognoses. Finally, it is important to know if certain
movement abnormalities are specific to a disorder or common to a few or
many, and how they characterize the particular disorder.

If you are interested in this work or have video that you would be willing
to send us for analysis (we can copy the videos and send back the
originals and also have 16mm, 8mm, etc conversion capabilities), please
contact me at:

Jennifer Nye -

114 Psychology Bldg.
University of Florida
Gainesville, Fl 32611

(352) 392-6633

Thank you!

Jennifer Nye

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