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Am J Med Genet. 2000 Spring;97(1):65-71.

Neurobehavioral deficits in offspring of schizophrenic parents: liability indicators and predictors of illness.

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Medical Genetics, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY 10032, USA.


High-risk research in schizophrenia incorporates several different strategies for studying individuals who are defined by different criteria as being at risk for future development of schizophrenia. Variables from a wide range of domains have been included in these studies. Several reviews of high-risk research have attempted to cover the field broadly, whereas others have been more sharply focused on research subjects defined by specific criteria or on particular classes of variables. Among the review articles and collections of project reports on high-risk research in the past two decades are: Watt et al. [1984: Children at risk for schizophrenia: a longitudinal perspective]; Nuechterlein and Dawson [1984: Schizophr Bull 10:160-203]; Nuechterlein [1986: J Child Psychol Psychiatr 27:133-144]; Erlenmeyer-Kimling and Cornblatt [1987: J Psychiatr Res 26:405-426]; Goldstein and Tuma [1987: Schizophr Bull 13:369-371]; Asarnow [1988: Schizophr Bull 14:613-631]; Moldin and Erlenmeyer-Kimling [1994: Schizophr Bull 20:25-29]; Mirsky [1995: Schizophr Bull 21:179-182]; Gooding and Iacono [1995: Manual of developmental psychopathology] McNeil [1995: Epidemiol Rev 17:107-112] Olin and Mednick [1996: Schizophr Bull 22:223-240]; Cornblatt and Obuchowski [1997: Intl Rev Psychiatry 9:437-447]. This paper presents an overview of findings from recent (the past decade and a half) prospective studies of children of schizophrenic parents, with a focus on neurobehavioral (neurocognitive, neuromotor, and neurophysiological) variables that may reflect aspects of the genetic liability to schizophrenia and related disorders. The few neuroimaging studies on children of schizophrenic parents are also briefly mentioned. Because of space limitations, the overview is not intended as a comprehensive or detailed review of this area of high-risk research.

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