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Br J Psychiatry. 2007 Aug;191:126-30.

Emotion recognition and genetic vulnerability to schizophrenia.

Author information

  • 1University of Lyon, Centre Hospitalier Le Vinatier, Bron, France. benoit.bediou@ch-le-vinatier.fr

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Epidemiological studies of schizophrenia suggest that this disorder has a substantial genetic component. Cognitive and social abilities, as well as the volumes of brain regions involved in emotion processing, have been found to be distributed along a continuum when comparing patients, siblings and controls, with siblings showing intermediate scores.

AIMS:

To establish whether facial expression recognition is impaired in unaffected siblings of patients.

METHOD:

Emotion and gender recognition were evaluated in a three-group pre-post study design in drug-naive patients with first-episode schizophrenia (n=40) and their unaffected siblings (n=30) compared with controls (n=26).

RESULTS:

Patients and their healthy siblings showed impaired emotion recognition but normal gender recognition compared with controls. Patients'performance did not improve despite effective clinical stabilisation.

CONCLUSIONS:

Impaired performance in healthy siblings and time stability in patients provides evidence of impairment of facial emotion recognition as an actual phenotype of schizophrenia.

PMID:
17666496
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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