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Neurological soft signs and dermatoglyphic anomalies in twins with schizophrenia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 April 2020

Brendan D. Kelly
Affiliation:
The Stanley Research Unit, Department of Adult Psychiatry, Hospitaller Order of St John of God, Cluain Mhuire Service, Co Dublin, Ireland
David Cotter
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland
Cian Denihan
Affiliation:
The Stanley Research Unit, Department of Adult Psychiatry, Hospitaller Order of St John of God, Cluain Mhuire Service, Co Dublin, Ireland
Deirdre Larkin
Affiliation:
The Stanley Research Unit, Department of Adult Psychiatry, Hospitaller Order of St John of God, Cluain Mhuire Service, Co Dublin, Ireland
Peter Murphy
Affiliation:
The Stanley Research Unit, Department of Adult Psychiatry, Hospitaller Order of St John of God, Cluain Mhuire Service, Co Dublin, Ireland
Anthony Kinsella
Affiliation:
School of Mathematics, Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin, Ireland
Dermot Walsh
Affiliation:
The Health Research Board, Dublin, Ireland
John Waddington
Affiliation:
Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland
Conall Larkin
Affiliation:
The Stanley Research Unit, Department of Adult Psychiatry, Hospitaller Order of St John of God, Cluain Mhuire Service, Co Dublin, Ireland
Eadbhard O’Callaghan*
Affiliation:
The Stanley Research Unit, Department of Adult Psychiatry, Hospitaller Order of St John of God, Cluain Mhuire Service, Co Dublin, Ireland Department of Psychiatry, University College Dublin, Ireland
Abbie Lane
Affiliation:
The Stanley Research Unit, Department of Adult Psychiatry, Hospitaller Order of St John of God, Cluain Mhuire Service, Co Dublin, Ireland
*
*Corresponding author. E-mail address: eadbhard.ocallaghan@sjog.ie (E. O’Callaghan).
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Abstract

Schizophrenia is associated with altered neural development. We assessed neurological soft signs (NSS) and dermatoglyphic anomalies (total a–b ridge count (TABRC) and total finger ridge count) in 15 pairs of twins concordant and discordant for schizophrenia. Within-pair differences in both NSS and TABRC scores were significantly greater in discordant compared to concordant monozygotic pairs. There was no significant difference in NSS and TABRC scores between subjects with schizophrenia and their co-twins without the illness. However, monozygotic discordant twins with schizophrenia had higher ABRCs on their right hands compared to their co-twins without the illness. These findings suggest that an unidentified environmental event acting between weeks 6 and 15 of gestation affects the development of monozygotic twins who go on to develop schizophrenia but does not have a corresponding effect on their co-twins who do not develop the illness. The effect of such an event on dermatoglyphic profiles appears lateralised to the right hand in affected twins.

Type
Original article
Copyright
Copyright © 2004 European Psychiatric Association

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