February 1984

Pursuit Eye Movement Dysfunctions in SchizophreniaFamily Evidence for Specificity

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychology and Social Relations, Harvard University (Dr Holzman), the Harvard Medical School (Drs Holzman and Levin), and the Harvard School of Public Health (Dr Waternaux), Cambridge, Mass; the Mailman Research Center, McLean Hospital, Belmont, Mass (Drs Holzman, Levin, and Waternaux), and The New York Hospital, Cornell Medical Center, Westchester Division, White Plains, NY (Dr Solomon).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1984;41(2):136-139. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1984.01790130030004

• In a number of previous investigations, eye tracking dysfunctions had been reliably found in from 50% to 85% of schizophrenic patients, about 40% of manic-depressive patients, and about 8% of the normal population. We report similar smooth pursuit eye movement dysfunctions in 34% of the parents (or 55% of parental pairs) of schizophrenic patients compared with 10% of the parents (or 17% of parental pairs) of manic-depressive patients. Parental eye movement dysfunctions are significantly related to the diagnosis of the patient and not to the patient's eye tracking performance. These data suggest that, in the absence of other CNS disease, these eye tracking dysfunctions represent familial markers of vulnerability to schizophrenia.