Abstract

MINOR PHYSICAL ANOMALIES IN POSITIVE VERSUS NEGATIVE SYMPTOMS PATIENTS OF SCHIZOPHRENIA

Author(s): Sneh Babhulkar, Durva B. Sail

BACKGROUND The term ‘Minor Physical Anomalies (MPAs)’ has been described by Jones (1988)78 as “unusual morphologic features that are of no serious medical or cosmetic consequences to the patient. The value of their diagnosis is that they may serve as indicators of altered morphogenesis in a general sense or may constitute valuable clues in the diagnosis of a specific pattern of malformation.” The study was designed to examine the Minor Physical Anomalies in positive versus negative subsets of schizophrenic patients and identify the degree of abnormalities of this specific endophenotype and for understanding the association between various socio demographic and illness variables (like age, gender, duration of illness, handedness) between the subsets of schizophrenic patients. MATERIALS AND METHODS 30 patients with positive symptoms of schizophrenia, 30 schizophrenic patients with negative symptoms and 60 age and sex matched controls were recruited from Psychiatry OPD and IPD from a tertiary care hospital. The Waldrop Minor Congenital Anomaly Scale (Waldrop and Halverson 1971) was applied for recording the scores of Minor Physical Anomalies. RESULTS The Minor Physical Anomaly (MPA) scores were significantly more in positive as well as negative subsets of schizophrenic patients with a statistical difference of (p<0.0001) as compared to healthy controls. However, there was no statistically significant difference in MPA scores between the two groups of schizophrenics. CONCLUSION Increased MPA scores in schizophrenic patients in comparison to controls advocate that Minor Physical Anomalies may be considered as a useful neuroendophenotypic marker for establishing an aetiopathogenesis in the schizophrenic disease process.