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    Neurological soft signs and dermatoglyphic anomalies in twins with schizophrenia.

    Kelly BD, Cotter D, Denihan C, Larkin D, Murphy P, Kinsella A, Walsh D, Waddington J, Larkin C, O'Callaghan E, Lane A.

    The Stanley Research Unit, Department of Adult Psychiatry, Hospitaller Order of St John of God, Cluain Mhuire Service, Co Dublin, Ireland.

    Schizophrenia is associated with altered neural development. We assessed neurological soft signs (NSS) and dermatoglyphic anomalies (total a-b ridge count (TABRC) and total finger ridge count) in 15 pairs of twins concordant and discordant for schizophrenia. Within-pair differences in both NSS and TABRC scores were significantly greater in discordant compared to concordant monozygotic pairs. There was no significant difference in NSS and TABRC scores between subjects with schizophrenia and their co-twins without the illness. However, monozygotic discordant twins with schizophrenia had higher ABRCs on their right hands compared to their co-twins without the illness. These findings suggest that an unidentified environmental event acting between weeks 6 and 15 of gestation affects the development of monozygotic twins who go on to develop schizophrenia but does not have a corresponding effect on their co-twins who do not develop the illness. The effect of such an event on dermatoglyphic profiles appears lateralised to the right hand in affected twins.

    Eur Psychiatry. 2004 May;19(3):159-63.

    PMID: 15211630 [PubMed - in process]

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