Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Br J Psychiatry. 1988 Nov;153:675-83.

Sex chromosomes and psychosis. The case for a pseudoautosomal locus.

Author information

  • 1Division of Psychiatry, Clinical Research Centre, Northwick Park Hospital, Middlesex.


Although the incidence of the recurrent psychoses (bipolar affective illness and schizophrenia) in the two sexes is approximately equal, gender influences a number of aspects of major psychiatric disease: unipolar depressive illness is twice as common in females, onset of schizophrenia is earlier and outcome is worse in males, and pairs of psychotic first-degree relatives are more often than expected of the same sex. In addition, sex chromosomal aneuploidies (e.g. XXY and XXX) are more frequent in patients with psychosis. Some of these findings can be explained if there is a major locus of predisposition to psychiatric disease in the 'pseudoautosomal' region of the sex chromosomes - that distal segment of the short arms in which there is genetic exchange between X and Y chromosomes at male meiosis. A gene located here would be transmitted in an autosomal manner, but would be passed above chance expectation to children of the same sex when inherited through a male. In that this segment of the sex chromosomes is subject to a high rate of recombination (which could generate new mutations), and may include determinants of brain lateralisation, it appears that the pseudoautosomal region could carry the genes which predispose to the major psychoses.

Comment in

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk