Original article| Volume 33, ISSUE 5, P313-325, March 01, 1993

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Postural sway in children from pedigrees exhibiting a high density of alcoholism

  • Shirley Y. Hill
    Address reprint requests to S.Y. Hill, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, 3811 O'Hara Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 USA.
    University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
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  • Stuart R. Steinhauer
    University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

    Biometrics Research, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
    Search for articles by this author
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      A total of 98 children participated in a study of the neurobehavioral characteristics of individuals from pedigrees in which there was a high density of alcoholism. Two groups of children were evaluated (High and Low Risk) using a sensitive movement platform and a variety of methods to challenge the motor system. High-Risk children showed a greater decrement in postural steadiness when visual input was removed than did Low-Risk children. Additionally, the monopedal stances revealed hemispheric differences in postural sway as a function of risk status. The amount of sway exhibited was correlated with the latency of P300 recorded using a visual task. Both appear to be indicators of neuropathological changes. The present results suggest that postural sway may be a neurobehavioral marker for alcoholism risk.


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