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Psychiatry Res. 1991 Dec;39(3):257-68.

Codistribution of a sensory gating deficit and schizophrenia in multi-affected families.

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Dept. of Psychiatry, University of Colo. Health Sciences Center, Denver 80262.


Because the clinical diagnosis of schizophrenia has not generally been an adequate phenotypic marker to detect the genes that convey risk for schizophrenia, efforts have been directed toward the identification of more elementary neuronal dysfunctions in schizophrenic patients and their families. Psychophysiological studies of sensory gating and selective attention suggest that defects in these brain functions are present in schizophrenic patients and some of their relatives. This study examines one of these defects in sensory gating, failure to suppress the P50 evoked response to repeated auditory stimuli. Six pedigrees, chosen because of the presence of large sibships containing several cases of schizophrenia, were studied. A mathematical model was developed to assess the familial association of the P50 defect with schizophrenia. The model preserves the quantitative nature of the data and is suitable for use in a sample with small numbers of pedigrees comprising many individuals. It is thus suitable for the evaluation of putative phenotypes in families to be studied by linkage analysis with polymorphic genetic markers. The results suggest that the P50 defect is familially associated with schizophrenia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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