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October 2021

The concept of target features in schizophrenia research

Author(s): Faraone, S. V.

Journal/Book: Acta Psychiat Scand. 1999; 99: 35 Norre Sogade, PO Box 2148, Dk-1016 Copenhagen, Denmark. Munksgaard Int Publ Ltd. 2-11.

Abstract: Target features are clinical or neurobiological characteristics that are expressions of the underlying predisposition to an illness. They comprise a wide range of phenomena, from the classic signs and symptoms of psychopathology to sophisticated measures of brain structure and function. For schizophrenia, many target features have been identified. These include eye tracking dysfunction, attentional impairment, allusive thinking, neurological signs, thought disorder, characteristic auditory evoked potentials, neuropsychological impairment, structural brain abnormalities and functional brain abnormalities. In their most pathological forms, these features are present among many schizophrenic patients. Yet it is their presence among their non-psychotic relatives that shows them to be target features. We discuss the theoretical background for target features, present examples and describe how the discovery of target features has implications for schizophrenia research.

Note: Article Tsuang MT, Harvard Univ, Massachusetts Mental Hlth Ctr, Sch Med, Dept Psychiat, 74 Fenwood Rd, Boston,MA 02115 USA

Keyword(s): schizophrenia; genetics; psychopathology; JERUSALEM INFANT-DEVELOPMENT; HIGH-RISK-PROJECT; SUSCEPTIBILITY LOCUS; LINKAGE ANALYSIS; PERCEPTUAL ABERRATION; CHROMOSOME 6P24-22; PSYCHOTIC-PATIENTS; EXPRESSED EMOTION; TWINS DISCORDANT; COMPLEX DISEASES


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