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Neurodevelopmental indices and the development of psychotic symptoms in subjects at high risk of schizophrenia

  • Stephen M. Lawrie (a1), Majella Byrne (a1), Patrick Miller (a1), Ann Hodges (a1), Robert A. Clafferty (a1), David G. Cunningham Owens (a1) and Eve C. Johnstone (a1)...

Abstract

Background

Neurological ‘soft signs’ and minor physical anomalies (MPAs) are reported to be more frequent in patients with schizophrenia than in controls.

Aims

To determine whether these disturbances are genetically mediated, and whether they are central to the genesis of symptoms or epiphenomena.

Method

We obtained ratings in 152 individuals who were antipsychotic drug-free and at high risk, some of whom had experienced psychotic symptoms, as well as 30 first-episode patients and 35 healthy subjects.

Results

MPAs and Neurological Evaluation Scale (NES) ‘sensory integration abnormalities’ were more frequent in high-risk subjects than in healthy controls, but there were no reliable differences between high-risk subjects with and without psychotic symptoms. MPAs were most frequent in high-risk subjects with least genetic liability and NES scores showed no genetic associations.

Conclusions

The lack of associations with psychotic symptoms and genetic liability to schizophrenia suggests that soft signs and physical anomalies are non-specific markers of developmental deviance that are not mediated by the gene(s) for schizophrenia.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Dr Stephen M. Lawrie, Edinburgh University Department of Psychiatry, Royal Edinburgh Hospital, Edinburgh EH10 5HF, UK. Tel: 0131-537-6671; Fax: 0131-447-6680; e-mail: s.lawrie@ed.ac.uk

Footnotes

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Declaration of interest

None. Funding from the Medical Research Council of Great Britain.

Footnotes

References

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  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
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Neurodevelopmental indices and the development of psychotic symptoms in subjects at high risk of schizophrenia

  • Stephen M. Lawrie (a1), Majella Byrne (a1), Patrick Miller (a1), Ann Hodges (a1), Robert A. Clafferty (a1), David G. Cunningham Owens (a1) and Eve C. Johnstone (a1)...
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