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Neurosci Lett. 2001 Aug 31;309(3):185-8.

Amplitude reduction of the mismatch negativity in first-degree relatives of patients with schizophrenia.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Bonn, Sigmund-Freud-Strasse 25 53105 Bonn, Germany.


First-degree relatives of schizophrenic patients display alterations in various cognitive domains and their electrophysiological counterparts similar to schizophrenic subjects. The mismatch negativity (MMN) is an event-related potential that reflects sensory memory in the pre-attentive stage of auditory processing. An amplitude reduction of the MMN has been reported in schizophrenia. The present study investigated the MMN in patients with schizophrenia, first-degree relatives and control subjects. The MMN amplitude was reduced in relatives compared to controls. The MMN amplitude reduction in schizophrenic patients compared to controls, however, did not reach significance in the present study. These results provide first evidence for disturbed sensory memory in relatives of patients with schizophrenia.

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