Sensory Gating Deficits Assessed by the P50 Event-Related Potential in Subjects With Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Kristin S. Cadenhead, Gregory A. Light, Mark A. Geyer, David L. Braff
2000 American Journal of Psychiatry  
Objective: The schizophrenia spectrum includes individuals with schizophrenia, their relatives, and individuals with schizotypal personality disorder. Subjects in the schizophrenia spectrum have disorders of attention, cognition, and information processing. Attention and information processing can be assessed by testing suppression of the P50 eventrelated potential; the amplitude of the P50 wave is measured in response to each of two auditory clicks. In normal subjects, the P50 wave following
more » ... 50 wave following the second click is suppressed, or "gated." Schizophrenic patients and their relatives show less suppression of the second P50 wave. Deficits in P50 suppression have high heritability and show linkage to the alpha-7 subunit of the nicotinic cholinergic receptor gene in families with schizophrenia, suggesting that deficits in P50 suppression are trait markers for gating abnormalities in schizophrenia spectrum subjects. Although schizotypal subjects have been shown to have deficits in sensorimotor gating as measured by prepulse inhibition, to the authors' knowledge P50 sensory gating in schizotypal personality disorder has yet to be reported. Method: P50 suppression in 26 subjects with schizotypal personality disorder and 23 normal subjects was assessed through auditory conditioning and testing. Results: The subjects with schizotypal personality had significantly less P50 suppression than did the normal subjects. Conclusions: Subjects with schizotypal personality disorder may have trait-linked sensory gating deficits similar to those in patients with schizophrenia and their relatives. Because these subjects may manifest sensory gating deficits without overt psychotic symptoms, it is likely that these deficits represent a core cognitive dysfunction of the schizophrenia spectrum. (Am J Psychiatry 2000; 157:55-59)
doi:10.1176/ajp.157.1.55 pmid:10618013 fatcat:xvjchyk7qnasxd2bxe5g2qqfwy