[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The frequency of minor physical anomalies (MPAs) in patients with schizophrenia suggests an early disturbance in the development of the neuroectoderm. To improve the phenotypic delimitation of this disorder, we used a comprehensive scale of MPAs (41 items) in patients with schizophrenia and their first-degree relatives. This scale, adapted from a revised version of the Waldrop Scale (Ismail et al. Minor physical anomalies in schizophrenic patients and their siblings, American Journal of Psychiatry 155, 1998a, 1695-1702), introduced new items assessing facial and limbs asymmetry. The interrater reliability between two examiners was good: intraclass correlation coefficient: 0.68 (0.42-0.92). Patients with schizophrenia (n=40; mean=5.8, S.D.=4) and their non-psychotic parents (n=45; mean=4.7, S.D.=2.8) had significantly more MPAs than healthy comparison subjects (n=42; mean=2.2, S.D.=1.2). A logistical regression model showed the ability of several items to predict group status, including facial asymmetry, cleft palate, hair whorls and abnormal palmar crease. The high prevalence of facial asymmetry in patients with schizophrenia and their first-degree relatives provides new insights into the underlying dysembryogenic processes. This revised scale thus appears to be a useful complementary tool in pathophysiological studies aiming at the identification of developmental factors in schizophrenia.
No preview · Article · Feb 2004 · Psychiatry Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Markers of vulnerability have been identified in schizophrenia, and among them, neurological soft-signs (NSS) and minor physical anomalies (MPAs) also seem to occur in biological relatives. The similarities of these developmental markers within families may depend on either genetic or non-genetic factors. The aim of the study was to investigate the intra-familial similarities of NSS and MPAs within 18 nuclear families (18 probands with schizophrenia and 36 of their non-psychotic parents). A general linear model showed similarities within families for NSS (intra-class coefficient [ICC] = 0.64; F = 2.6; df = 17.17; p = 0.02) but not for MPAs (ICC = -0.10; F = 0.7; df = 17.17; ns). We thus found a direct evidence for the intra-familial transmission of NSS but not of MPAs, suggesting that this morphological phenotypic trait could be more dependent on epigenetic influences.
No preview · Article · Oct 2003 · Schizophrenia Research