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A STUDY OF MINOR PHYSICAL ANOMALIES IN TWIN PAIRS AGE 5-12 YEARS: A PREDICTOR OF BEHAVIORAL VARIATION?

Jenkins, Elizabeth Anne (2006) A STUDY OF MINOR PHYSICAL ANOMALIES IN TWIN PAIRS AGE 5-12 YEARS: A PREDICTOR OF BEHAVIORAL VARIATION? Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh.

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    Abstract

    Minor physical anomalies (MPA) are defined as unusual morphological features found in less than 4% of the general population, but with no serious medical or cosmetic significance to the bearer. An increase in MPA has been associated with irritability in newborns, hyperactivity, and adult-onset schizophrenia and bipolar disorders. In our study, we wish to determine whether minor physical anomalies serve as a predictor for behavioral variation and whether certain regions of the body are more likely to manifest anomalies related to behavioral problems. To determine the combination of MPA most predictive of behavioral variation, we performed a meta-analysis of existing literature examining the relationship between schizophrenia and MPA. Additionally, we sought to determine the heritability of this trait in a twin design. Twin pairs were recruited from Twinsburg, Ohio during the 2005 annual Twin's Day Festival and from the Pittsburgh Registry of Infant Multiplets (PRIM). The only inclusion criterion was that twin pairs were between 5 and 12 years of age. The Stroop Task and the Continuous Performance test were administered to assess attention and impulsiveness in the twin pairs. A 15-20 minute assessment for minor physical anomalies using an expanded version of the standardized Waldrop Physical Anomaly Scale was performed by two investigators. We determined, via meta-analysis, the subset of MPA that is most predictive of schizophrenia. Using a twin design, we estimated the intraclass correlations and heritability of these MPA in a set of 50 twin pairs. We determined that MPA may not be useful as predictors for behavioral variations but may be more useful in specific psychotic populations, specifically schizophrenia. This study has implications for public health because research into the biological etiology of MPA could identify risk factors that would enable early detection and prevention of later psychosis.


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    Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
    ETD Committee:
    ETD Committee TypeCommittee MemberEmail
    Committee CoChairMaher, Brion Smaherb@sdmgenetics.pitt.edu
    Committee CoChairVanyukov, Michaelmmv@pitt.edu
    Committee MemberGettig, Elizabeth Abgettig@hgen.pitt.edu
    Committee MemberTrauth, Jeanettetrauth@pitt.edu
    Committee MemberMarazita, Mary Lmarazita@sdmgenetics.pitt.edu
    Title: A STUDY OF MINOR PHYSICAL ANOMALIES IN TWIN PAIRS AGE 5-12 YEARS: A PREDICTOR OF BEHAVIORAL VARIATION?
    Status: Unpublished
    Abstract: Minor physical anomalies (MPA) are defined as unusual morphological features found in less than 4% of the general population, but with no serious medical or cosmetic significance to the bearer. An increase in MPA has been associated with irritability in newborns, hyperactivity, and adult-onset schizophrenia and bipolar disorders. In our study, we wish to determine whether minor physical anomalies serve as a predictor for behavioral variation and whether certain regions of the body are more likely to manifest anomalies related to behavioral problems. To determine the combination of MPA most predictive of behavioral variation, we performed a meta-analysis of existing literature examining the relationship between schizophrenia and MPA. Additionally, we sought to determine the heritability of this trait in a twin design. Twin pairs were recruited from Twinsburg, Ohio during the 2005 annual Twin's Day Festival and from the Pittsburgh Registry of Infant Multiplets (PRIM). The only inclusion criterion was that twin pairs were between 5 and 12 years of age. The Stroop Task and the Continuous Performance test were administered to assess attention and impulsiveness in the twin pairs. A 15-20 minute assessment for minor physical anomalies using an expanded version of the standardized Waldrop Physical Anomaly Scale was performed by two investigators. We determined, via meta-analysis, the subset of MPA that is most predictive of schizophrenia. Using a twin design, we estimated the intraclass correlations and heritability of these MPA in a set of 50 twin pairs. We determined that MPA may not be useful as predictors for behavioral variations but may be more useful in specific psychotic populations, specifically schizophrenia. This study has implications for public health because research into the biological etiology of MPA could identify risk factors that would enable early detection and prevention of later psychosis.
    Date: 13 June 2006
    Date Type: Completion
    Defense Date: 28 March 2006
    Approval Date: 13 June 2006
    Submission Date: 10 April 2006
    Access Restriction: No restriction; The work is available for access worldwide immediately.
    Patent pending: No
    Institution: University of Pittsburgh
    Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
    Refereed: Yes
    Degree: MS - Master of Science
    URN: etd-04102006-145843
    Uncontrolled Keywords: behavior; heritability; minor physical anomalies; schizophrenia; twins
    Schools and Programs: Graduate School of Public Health > Genetic Counseling
    Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 14:35
    Last Modified: 27 Apr 2012 09:47
    Other ID: http://etd.library.pitt.edu/ETD/available/etd-04102006-145843/, etd-04102006-145843

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