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Visual field loss in schizophrenia: evaluation of magnocellular pathway dysfunction in schizophrenic patients and their parents

Authors Gracitelli CP, Lima, Bressan, Paranhos Jr.

Received 11 February 2013

Accepted for publication 21 March 2013

Published 29 May 2013 Volume 2013:7 Pages 1015—1021


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Carolina Pelegrini Barbosa Gracitelli,1 Fabiana Benites Vaz de Lima,2,3 Rodrigo A Bressan,2,3 Augusto Paranhos Junior1

1Department of Ophthalmology, Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP), São Paulo, SP, Brazil; 2LiNC – Interdisciplinary Laboratory of Neuroimaging and Cognition, Department of Psychiatry, Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP), São Paulo, SP, Brazil; 3PROESQ – Schizophrenia Program, Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP), São Paulo, SP, Brazil

Purpose: We sought to evaluate the visual pathway deficits in schizophrenic patients, compared with their parents and healthy controls, using Matrix frequency doubling technology (FDT) perimetry. Matrix FDT is an ophthalmic test used to detect visual field loss.
Method: A total of 13 patients, 13 parents, and 12 healthy controls were enrolled in the study. Participants were subjected to Matrix FDT perimetry in a single test session. We analyzed the mean deviation for each eye and used a generalized estimated equation to evaluate differences among the groups and correct the dependency between the eyes.
Results: The global mean deviation (presented as the mean of both eyes) was significantly lower in the schizophrenic patients than in their parents or controls. Analysis of the general sensitivity of the fibers crossing the optic chiasm showed a difference between the groups (P = 0.006), indicating that the sensitivity of the fibers crossing the optic chiasm was lower than those which did not cross. But when we analyzed the specific groups, the difference between the fibers was not considerable. Comparison of the right and left hemispheres showed that general sensitivity was lower for the left hemisphere, but when we analyzed specific groups, the difference was not significant (P = 0.29).
Conclusion: These findings are suggestive of a lower global sensitivity in schizophrenic patients and their parents compared with controls. This difference may be an endophenotype of schizophrenia. The present study adds to a growing body of research on early-stage visual processing deficits in schizophrenia.

Keywords: schizophrenic patients, visual processing, endophenotype, frequency doubling technology

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