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168. Postural sway in first-degree relatives of individuals with schizophrenia
Postural control deficits exist in schizophrenia (SZ), but postural sway has not been examined in first-degree relatives (FDR). We hypothesized that FDR would also be impaired. We analyzed postural sway in 69 controls, 28 SZ, and 21 FDR. Participants stood as still as possible with their arms resting comfortably at their sides on an AMTI Accusway (Watertown, MA) force platform with eyes open and eyes closed, and with feet (base) together or shoulder-width apart (4 conditions). One-minute center-of-pressure (COP) recordings were made for each condition. COP path length was analysed using a 2(Eyes) x 2(Base) x 3(Group) repeated measures ANOVA. There was a significant group effect, F(2,115)=10.22, p<0.001. Post hoc analyses determined that SZ had significantly longer sway paths compared to controls, and FDR showed a trend-level increase compared to controls and decrease compared to SZ (both p=0.07). However, the FDR group was significantly older than the other 2 groups (p<0.05). With age added as a covariate, the main effect of group remained, and SZ had increased mean path length compared to both controls (p<0.001) and FDR (p<0.05). FDR and controls were not significantly different. Future study of FDR postural control deficits is warranted in a larger, carefully age-matched sample.