The Maudsley Family Study, II: Endogenous event-related potentials in familial schizophrenia

S. Frangou, T. Sharma, G. Alarcon, T. Sigmudsson, N. Takei, C. Binnie, R. M. Murray

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Auditory event-related potentials (ERPs) were obtained from 33 schizophrenics, from 16 families multiply affected with schizophrenia, 57 of their non-schizophrenic first-degree relatives and 32 unrelated healthy controls. Transmission of schizophrenia in these families appeared unilinear with one parent only transmitting the disorder. Consequently, we were able to identify 10 presumed obligate carriers and study eight of them. Schizophrenic patients showed latency prolongation and amplitude reduction of the N100, N200 and P300 waves compared to controls. Their relatives showed similar abnormalities compared to controls. There was a trend for bimodal distribution of the P300 latency in the relatives, with 20 (35%) of them falling outside two standard deviations of the mean of the controls. These included six of the eight obligate carriers. Our results suggest that ERP abnormalities may serve as markers of genetic vulnerability in schizophrenia and may be useful in genetic linkage studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-53
Number of pages9
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 17 Jan 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • event-related potentials
  • familial
  • genetics
  • schizophrenia


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