Schizophr Res. 2013 Aug 13. pii: S0920-9964(13)00372-1. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2013.07.028. [Epub ahead of print]
Toxoplasma gondii exposure affects neural processing speed as measured by acoustic startle latency in schizophrenia and controls
Pearce BD, Hubbard S, Rivera HN, Wilkins PP, Fisch MC, Hopkins MH, Hasenkamp W, Gross R, Bliwise N, Jones JL, Duncan E.
Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, 1518 Clifton Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30329, USA. Electronic address:firstname.lastname@example.org.
The prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii (TOXO) infection in schizophrenia (SCZ) is elevated compared to controls (odds ratio=2.73). TOXO infection is associated with psychomotor slowing in rodents and non-psychiatric humans. Latency of the acoustic startle response, an index of neural processing speed, is the time it takes for a startling stimulus to elicit the reflexive response through a three-synapse subcortical circuit. We report a significant slowing of latency in TOXO seropositive SCZ vs. seronegative SCZ, and in TOXO seropositive controls vs. seronegative controls. Latency was likewise slower in SCZ subjects than in controls. These findings indicate a slowing of neural processing speed with chronic TOXO infection; the slowest startle latency was seen in the TOXO seropositive SCZ group.
Published by Elsevier B.V.
Acoustic startle, Latency, Schizophrenia, Toxoplasma gondii
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