Retinal function and preclinical risk traits in children and adolescents at genetic risk of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry, Volume 112, p.110432 (2022)


<p><b>BACKGROUND: </b>The millions of children having a parent affected by a major psychiatric disorder may carry, as vulnerability indicators, electroretinographic (ERG) anomalies resembling those seen in adult patients. Our goal was to determine whether ERG anomalies in high-risk youths are related to clinical precursors of a later transition to illness such as the presence of childhood DSM-IV diagnoses, bouts of psychotic like experiences, lower global IQ and social functioning deterioration.</p><p><b>METHODS: </b>The 99 youths (53% males) aged 5-27 years had one parent affected by schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or major depressive disorder. They were assessed with a best-estimate DSM-IV diagnoses based on review of medical charts and a structured interview (K-SADS or SCID), global IQ (WISC-V and WAIS-IV), global functioning (GAF scale) and psychotic-like experiences using interviews and a review of medical records. The electroretinogram of rods and cones was recorded.</p><p><b>RESULTS: </b>Cone Vmax latency was longer in offspring having psychotic-like experiences, respective adjusted mean [SE] ms of 31.59 [0.27] and of 30.96 [0.14]; P = 0.018). The cone Vmax delayed latency was associated with a lower global IQ (R = -0.18; P = 0.045) and with deteriorated global functioning (GAF; R = -0.25; P = 0.008). In contrast, rods had decreased b-wave amplitude only in offspring with a non-psychotic non-affective DSM diagnoses, respective means [SE] μV of 170.18 [4.90] and of 184.01 [6.12]; P = 0.044).</p><p><b>CONCLUSIONS: </b>ERG may mark neurodevelopmental pathways leading to adult illness and have an effect on early pre-clinical traits, giving clues to clinicians for the surveillance of sibling differences in high-risk families.</p>

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