Prepulse inhibition in psychiatric disorders--apart from schizophrenia

J Psychiatr Res. 2013 Apr;47(4):445-52. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2012.11.018. Epub 2013 Jan 1.


Prepulse inhibition (PPI) is a robust operational measure of sensorimotor gating. In schizophrenic patients PPI is deficient. The aim of our review was to investigate the state of science regarding PPI and psychiatric disorders aside from schizophrenia. We used the online database PubMed in order to search for original published reports on PPI studies. The terms "prepulse inhibition", "sensorimotor gating", "blink recovery", and "blink reflex excitability" have been combined with the names of psychiatric disorders. We found that PPI is deficient in obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and Gilles de la Tourette's syndrome (GTS). In bipolar disorder dysfunctional PPI seems to be rather state dependent. Studies on depression and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) consistently report no alterations. Evidence regarding sensorimotor gating in anxiety, autism, fragile X syndrome, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance disorders, and Huntington's disease is still poor. There is a strong need for further studies on PPI in psychiatric disorders. PPI is highly applicable for translational research and might also be a very useful tool to investigate the mode of action of innovative, neuro-modulative techniques. Future PPI studies should control for influencing variables such as smoking, sex, or medication.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blinking
  • Humans
  • Inhibition, Psychological*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*
  • Reflex, Startle
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sensory Gating*