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Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1988 Jul;45(7):641-7.

A single dominant gene can account for eye tracking dysfunctions and schizophrenia in offspring of discordant twins.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass 02138.


Eye movement dysfunctions (EMDs), detectable during smooth pursuit, occur in a majority of schizophrenics and in 45% of their first-degree relatives. Previous data suggest that they represent a biologic marker for schizophrenia. To determine the mode of transmission of the schizophrenia-EMD complex, the eye movements of offspring of monozygotic and dizygotic twins were recorded. One group of twins was discordant for schizophrenia; the other group for manic depression or reactive psychosis. The data suggest that EMDs and at least some schizophrenias can be considered expressions of a single underlying trait that is transmitted by an autosomal dominant gene.

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