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Psychiatry Res. 2001 Apr 15;101(3):209-19.

Poor performance in smooth pursuit and antisaccadic eye-movement tasks in healthy siblings of patients with schizophrenia.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Psychopathologie et Neurobiologie de la Schizophrénie et de la Vulnérabilité à la Psychose (EA 3092, Université Lyon I, IFNL), Centre Hospitalier Le Vinatier, 95 boulevard Pinel, F-69677 cedex, Bron, France.


This study examines the area of eye movement dysfunctions as an indicator of vulnerability to schizophrenia. Eye movement performance was investigated with three different paradigms: Smooth Pursuit Eye Movements (SPEM); Visually Guided Saccades (VGS); and Antisaccades (AS) in 21 clinically stable patients with schizophrenia, 21 of their healthy, biological full siblings and 21 healthy control subjects. The three groups did not differ on VGS performance, whereas both patients and their siblings showed lower SPEM gain, an increased catch-up Saccades (CUS) rate, reduced AS accuracy and an increased number of AS errors in comparison to control subjects. In addition, patients with schizophrenia exhibited increased AS latency. Among the patients with schizophrenia, eye movement abnormalities did not correlate with age, gender, clinical state or duration of illness. These data suggest that abnormalities of SPEM and AS may represent neurobiological markers of the vulnerability to schizophrenia in individuals at high genetic risk for the disease.

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