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Linkage of eye movement dysfunction to chromosome 6p in schizophrenia: additional evidence.

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Psychology Research Laboratory, Mailman Research Center, McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School, 115 Mill Street, Belmont, MA 02478, USA.


Establishing the genetics of physiological traits associated with schizophrenia may be an important first step in building a neurobiological bridge between the disease phenotype and its genetic underpinnings. One of the best known of the traits associated with schizophrenia is a disorder of smooth pursuit eye tracking (ETD), which is present in 50-80% of schizophrenia patients. ETD is more than three times more prevalent in the families of a schizophrenia patient than is schizophrenia itself. Arolt et al. [1999] estimated LOD scores for ETD of 2.85 for D6S282 and 3.70 for D6S271, two markers on 6p21.1, as well as obtaining an indication of possible linkage for schizophrenia. Our sample comprised two large families in Denmark. Markers in the region that was implicated by the study of Arolt et al. [1996, 1999] were analyzed as part of a genome scan using the "latent trait (L.T.) model" for the co-transmission of schizophrenia and ETD that we had previously fitted to segregation analysis data from Norway. We obtained a LOD score of 2.05 for D6S1017, a marker within 3 cM of the positive markers obtained by Arolt et al. [1996, 1999]. We regard our results as independent evidence supporting the findings of Arolt et al. [1996, 1999] and also as support for the L.T. model as a way of combining the traits ETD and schizophrenia.

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