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Lack of association between prepulse inhibition and antisaccadic deficits in chronic schizophrenia: implications for identification of schizophrenia endophenotypes.

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>05/2005
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Psychiatric Research
Issue number3
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)227-240
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Individuals with schizophrenia, compared to healthy individuals, are known to exhibit deficient prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the startle response as well as reduced performance on the antisaccade task. There is evidence for genetic transmission of both PPI and antisaccadic abnormalities in schizophrenia. It has been suggested that PPI and antisaccade measures identify separate endophenotypes, on the basis of a lack of relationship between PPI and antisaccade deficits in patients with schizotypal personality disorder. However, given that patients with schizotypal personality disorder are unlikely to manifest all the abnormalities associated with schizophrenia, it is important to determine that there is no relationship present between these two abnormalities in people affected with schizophrenia. The main objective of this investigation therefore was to establish the lack of the association between PPI and antisaccade deficits in schizophrenia in two independent studies. Study 1 involved 39 patients with schizophrenia and 14 healthy controls and study 2 involved 35 patients with schizophrenia and 22 healthy controls. PPI (uninstructed paradigm) of the acoustically elicited startle (eye blink) was measured electromyographically. Antisaccadic eye movements (standard, non-overlap version) were measured using infrared oculography. Patients displayed reduced PPI and a lower percentage of correct antisaccades relative to healthy controls in both studies. As expected, no relationship occurred between PPI and the percentage of correct antisaccade responses in either group. It is concluded that PPI and antisaccade abnormalities in schizophrenia represent separate endophenotypes, reflecting the functions of different genetic aetiologies and different or only partially overlapping neural systems.