Prepulse inhibition (PPI) deficit, the acoustic startle reflex (ASR) and habituation (HAB) impairment are considered to be endophenotypes for schizophrenia. The recent two studies have reported that a PPI deficit was detected in Japanese schizophrenic patients. We replicated that study using larger samples (115 schizophrenic patients and 111 normal controls) than the original study and a method same as original study. A startle response monitoring system was used to deliver acoustic startle stimuli, and to record and score the electromyographic activity of the orbicularis oculi muscle. We evaluated the startle measures of mean magnitude of ASR, HAB, and PPI at prepulse sound pressure intensities of 82 dB (PPI82), 86 dB (PPI86), and 90 dB (PPI90). ASR was significantly different between schizophrenic patients and controls. HAB and all PPI session data from schizophrenic patients were significantly lower than in controls. In addition, we detected significant differences for ASR, HAB and each PPI (82, 86 and 90 dB) between schizophrenic patients and controls with the use of multiple regression analysis. The gender and smoking state were not correlated with ASR, HAB or any PPI in multiple regression analysis. In conclusion, we were able to replicate the finding of HAB impairment and PPI deficit in chronic Japanese schizophrenic patients.
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