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Int J Psychophysiol. 2003 Aug;49(2):139-46.

Smooth pursuit and antisaccade performance evidence trait stability in schizophrenia patients and their relatives.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Pennsylvania, USA.


Several forms of eye movement dysfunction (EMD) have been widely regarded as candidate endophenotypes of schizophrenia, ultimately capable of identifying individuals carrying schizophrenia susceptibility genes and elucidating the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. As an indication of their trait-like status, candidate endophenotypes optimally evidence stability over time. However, there have been few published reports of test-retest reliability of several forms of EMD in schizophrenia patients and their relatives. In the current investigation, schizophrenia patients and the first-degree biological relatives of schizophrenia patients (n=15) were administered by an eye movement battery including smooth pursuit, antisaccade and prosaccade tasks, and re-tested after an average of 1.82 years (range=14-24 months). Adequate test-retest reliabilities of smooth pursuit closed-loop gain (Pearson r=0.72), antisaccade error rate (r=0.73), saccade reaction time to correct antisaccade responses (r=0.73), and prosaccade hypometria (r=0.72) were observed. Lower reliabilities were obtained for smooth pursuit open-loop gain (r=0.52) and prosaccade reaction time (r=0.43). The results are supportive of the trait-like characteristics of particular forms of EMD in schizophrenia families and of the candidacy of EMD as an endophenotypic marker of schizophrenia.

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