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Evidence that self-reported psychotic experiences represent the transitory developmental expression of genetic liability to psychosis in the general population

Authors

  • Tineke Lataster,

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, South Limburg Mental Health Research and Teaching Network, EURON, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, The Netherlands
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  • Inez Myin-Germeys,

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, South Limburg Mental Health Research and Teaching Network, EURON, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, The Netherlands
    2. School of Psychological Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
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  • Catherine Derom,

    1. Department of Human Genetics, University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
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  • Evert Thiery,

    1. Association for Scientific Research in Multiple Births, Ghent, Belgium
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  • Jim van Os

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, South Limburg Mental Health Research and Teaching Network, EURON, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, The Netherlands
    2. Division of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK
    • Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, Maastricht University Medical Centre, PO Box 616 (DOT 10), 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands.
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  • How to Cite this Article: Lataster T, Myin-Germeys I, Derom C, Thiery E, van Os J. 2009. Evidence That Self-Reported Psychotic Experiences Represent the Transitory Developmental Expression of Genetic Liability to Psychosis in the General Population. Am J Med Genet Part B 150B:1078–1084.

Abstract

It has been suggested that self-reported, common, non-clinical psychotic experiences may represent the transitory developmental expression of distributed genetic risk for psychosis. In a sample of female MZ (176 pairs) and DZ twins (113 pairs), cross-twin, cross-trait analyses were conducted to investigate the association between repeated continuous measures of self-reported psychotic experiences (PE—three measures over 18 months), assessed with the CAPE, in one twin and clinical interview categorical measures of psychotic symptoms (PS), assessed with SCID-I, in the other twin. The results showed that in MZ but not DZ pairs (interaction: χ2 = 7.9, df = 1, P = 0.005), the cross-twin association between PE and PS was large and significant (standardized effect size: 0.26, 95% CI: 0.10–0.42) and of similar magnitude as the within-twin PE–PS association (standardized effect size: 0.28, 95% CI: 0.10–0.45), demonstrating both PE validity and genetic effects. In addition, the cross-twin association between PE and PS was significantly larger (interaction: χ2 = 20.3, df = 1, P < 0.0001) for younger MZ twins (standardized effect size: 0.67, 95% CI: 0.44–0.90) than older MZ twins (standardized effect size: −0.05, 95% CI: −0.26 to 0.16), demonstrating developmental effects. This study indicates that self-reported psychotic experiences in the general population may represent the developmental expression of population genetic risk for psychosis. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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