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A series of human and animal investigations has suggested that altered expression and function of the alpha7-nicotinic cholinergic receptor may be responsible for the auditory sensory gating deficit characterized in schizophrenia patients and their relatives as diminished suppression of an auditory-evoked response (P50) to repeated stimuli. This finding, in(More)
Schizophrenia and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are both associated with deficits in inhibition and working memory, although in ADHD the working memory deficit is hypothesized to be secondary to the inhibitory deficit. This similarity in cognitive processes has been paralleled by similarities across the two groups in the performance of(More)
CONTEXT The alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor gene, CHRNA7, is associated with genetic transmission of schizophrenia and related cognitive and neurophysiological sensory gating deficits. Cognitive dysfunction is responsible for significant psychosocial disability in schizophrenia. Nicotine, a low-potency agonist at the alpha7 receptor, has some(More)
The behavior of the P50 wave of the auditory evoked potential in a paired stimulus or conditioning-testing paradigm has been used as a measure of sensory gating disturbance in schizophrenia. Schizophrenics fail to decrement the P50 response to the second stimulus of the pair, so that the ratio of the test to the conditioning amplitude is elevated over(More)
BACKGROUND Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and schizophrenia are both conceptualized as disorders of attention. Failure to inhibit the P50 auditory event-evoked response, extensively studied in schizophrenia, could also occur in ADHD patients, if these two illnesses have common underlying neurobiological substrates. METHODS This study(More)
BACKGROUND Performance during a smooth pursuit eye movement (SPEM) task has been proposed as a marker of genetic risk for schizophrenia, although the precise component of SPEM tracking most associated with genetic risk remains undetermined. Normal adult aging is associated with deterioration on SPEM tasks; it remains unclear whether investigations of SPEM(More)
Neuropsychological measures designed to examine aspects of attention, learning efficiency, and memory were investigated in 14 schizophrenic probands, their 28 parents, and 18 normal individuals. Probands performed at levels significantly below normals on measures of attention and of learning efficiency and performed below their parents on a subset of the(More)
OBJECTIVE Decreased hippocampal volume is one of the hypothesized pathological features of schizophrenia, but it is not known if this abnormality is familially transmitted. The aim of this study was to measure the hippocampal volume of the parents of schizophrenic probands, in relationship to the apparent transmission of genetic risk. METHOD Eighteen(More)
OBJECTIVE Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are possible therapeutic targets for schizophrenia, as shown by neurobiological and molecular evidence for deficiencies in expression of alpha(7)-nicotinic receptors. Patients' heavy smoking suggests attempted self-medication through this mechanism. The agent 3-(2,4-dimethoxybenzylidene) anabaseine (DMXB-A) is a(More)
Patients with schizophrenia often cannot respond to important features of their environment and filter out irrelevant stimuli. This dysfunction could be related to an underlying defect in inhibition--i.e., the brain's ability to alter its sensitivity to repeated stimuli. One of the neuronal mechanisms responsible for such inhibitory gating involves the(More)