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Goldstein JM, Cherkerzian S, Seidman LJ, Petryshen TL, Fitzmaurice G, Tsuang MT, Buka SL. Sex-specific rates of transmission of psychosis in the New England high-risk family study. Schizophr Res . 2011 May ; 128(1-3):150-5. PubMed Abstract

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Comment by:  Bernard Crespi
Submitted 6 May 2011 Posted 6 May 2011

X marks the missing heritability?
Discovering sources of the “missing” heritability for mental disorders such as schizophrenia remains one of the most important issues in contemporary psychiatry. A new paper by Goldstein et al. (2011) in Schizophrenia Research provides a novel clue. Their study of high-risk families demonstrates strongly, significantly sex-specific transmission of psychosis. For mothers with psychosis, 18.8 percent (12 of 64) of their sons developed psychosis, compared to 9.5 percent (7 of 74) of their daughters. Fathers with psychosis showed the opposite pattern: 3.1 percent (1 of 32) of their sons developed psychosis, compared to 15.2 percent (5 of 33) of their daughters (P < 0.05 comparing affected son to daughter ratio between mothers and fathers). Goldstein et al. (2011) note that these findings can be explained by two simple processes: 1) X-linked inheritance, in that fathers pass their X chromosome only to daughters, while mothers pass an X to both...  Read more

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