Thought disorder in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder probands, their relatives, and nonpsychiatric controls

Academic Article


  • Thought disorder (TD) has long been associated with schizophrenia (SZ) and is now widely recognized as a symptom of mania and other psychotic disorders as well. Previous studies have suggested that the TD found in the clinically unaffected relatives of SZ, schizoaffective and bipolar probands is qualitatively similar to that found in the probands themselves. Here, we examine which quantitative measures of TD optimize the distinction between patients with diagnoses of SZ and bipolar disorder with psychotic features (BP) from nonpsychiatric controls (NC) and from each other. In addition, we investigate whether these same TD measures also distinguish their respective clinically unaffected relatives (RelSZ, RelBP) from controls as well as from each other. We find that deviant verbalizations are significantly associated with SZ and are co-familial in clinically unaffected RelSZ, but are dissociated from, and are not co-familial for, BP disorder. In contrast, combinatory thinking was nonspecifically associated with psychosis, but did not aggregate in either group of relatives. These results provide further support for the usefulness of TD for identifying potential non-penetrant carriers of SZ-risk genes, in turn enhancing the power of genetic analyses. These findings also suggest that further refinement of the TD phenotype may be needed in order to be suitable for use in genetic studies of bipolar disorder.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Morgan CJ; Coleman MJ; Ulgen A; Boling L; Cole JO; Johnson FV; Lerbinger J; Bodkin JA; Holzman PS; Levy DL
  • Start Page

  • 523
  • End Page

  • 535
  • Volume

  • 43
  • Issue

  • 3