Chromosomal aberrations in the Xhosa schizophrenia population
Thesis (PhD (Psychiatry))--Stellenbosch University, 2008.
BACKGROUND: Schizophrenia is a heterogeneous illness resulting from complex gene-environment interplay. The majority of molecular genetic work done has involved Caucasian populations, with studies in these and Asian populations showing 2-32% of sufferers to have chromosomal aberrations. So far the discovery of a specific susceptibility mechanism or gene still eludes us, but the use of endophenotypes is advocated as a useful tool in this search. No cytogenetic studies of this nature have been reported in any African schizophrenia population. AIM: The aim of the study was to combine genotypic and phenotypic data, collected in a homogenous population in a structured manner, with the hope of characterising an endophenotype that could be used for more accurate identification of individuals with possible chromosomal abnormalities. METHODOLOGY: A structured clinical interview was conducted on 112 Xhosa schizophrenia patients. (Diagnostic Interview for Genetic Studies, including Schedules for the Assessment of Negative and Positive Symptoms.) Blood samples (karyotyping and/or FISH analysis) as well as urine samples (drug screening) were obtained and nine head and facial measurements were performed. Descriptive statistics were compiled with reference to demographic, clinical and morphological variables. Comparisons between mean differences for these variables were made.