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Schizophr Res. 2015 Dec;169(1-3):326-333. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2015.09.032. Epub 2015 Oct 23.

Pursuit eye movements as an intermediate phenotype across psychotic disorders: Evidence from the B-SNIP study.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Otto Creutzfeld Center, University of Muenster, Muenster, Germany.
2
Department of Neurology, University of Luebeck, Luebeck, Germany.
3
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, USA.
4
Department of Psychology, University of Georgia, Athens, USA.
5
Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, USA.
6
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Chicago, Chicago, USA.
7
Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Beth Israel Deacones Medical Center, Boston, USA.
8
Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine, Olin Research Center, Institute of Living/Hartford Hospital, Hartford, USA; Department of Neurobiology, Yale School of Medicine, Olin Research Center, Institute of Living/Hartford Hospital, Hartford, USA.
9
Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, USA.
10
Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, USA. Electronic address: John.Sweeney@UTSouthwestern.edu.

Abstract

Smooth pursuit eye tracking deficits are a promising intermediate phenotype for schizophrenia and possibly for psychotic disorders more broadly. The Bipolar-Schizophrenia Network on Intermediate Phenotypes (B-SNIP) consortium investigated the severity and familiality of different pursuit parameters across psychotic disorders. Probands with schizophrenia (N=265), schizoaffective disorder (N=178), psychotic bipolar disorder (N=231), their first-degree relatives (N=306, N=217, N=273, respectively) and healthy controls (N=305) performed pursuit tracking tasks designed to evaluate sensorimotor and cognitive/predictive aspects of pursuit. Probands from all diagnostic groups were impaired on all pursuit measures of interest compared to controls (p<0.001). Schizophrenia probands were more impaired than other proband groups on both early pursuit gain and predictive gain. Relatives with and without enhanced psychosis spectrum personality traits were impaired on initial eye acceleration, the most direct sensorimotor pursuit measure, but not on pursuit gain measures. This suggests that alterations in early sensorimotor function may track susceptibility to psychosis even in the absence of psychosis related personality traits. There were no differences in pursuit measures between relatives of the three proband groups. Familiality estimates of pursuit deficits indicate that early pursuit gain was more familial than predictive gain, which has been the most widely used measure in previous family studies of psychotic disorders. Thus, while disease-related factors may induce significant impairments of pursuit gain, especially in schizophrenia, the pattern of deficits in relatives and their familiality estimates suggest that alterations in sensorimotor function at pursuit onset may indicate increased susceptibility across psychotic disorders.

KEYWORDS:

Bipolar disorder; Familiality; Predictive pursuit eye movements; Schizoaffective disorder; Schizophrenia; Sensorimotor processing

PMID:
26481615
PMCID:
PMC4681655
DOI:
10.1016/j.schres.2015.09.032
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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