Research Article

The Association of Minor Physical Anomalies with Clinical and Subclinical Psychotic Symptoms


  • Adnan Kusman
  • Büşra Yalçınkaya
  • Yağmur Kır
  • Umut Mert Aksoy
  • Betul Nur Özdemir
  • Zeynep Gülsüm Dilek
  • Hayrunnisa Ünlü
  • Nur Taşpınar
  • Dilara Dönmez
  • Yağmur Çiko
  • Gülçin Köse
  • Bora Baskak

Received Date: 18.12.2019 Accepted Date: 29.05.2020 J Ankara Univ Fac Med 2020;73(3):216-223


Minor physical anomalies (MPA) are markers of neurodevelopmental disturbance. Supporting the neurodevelopmental model of schizophrenia, MPA’s were consistently found to be elevated; however, their relationship with psychotic symptoms are inconsistent. Recent evidences suggest that subclinical psychotic symptoms (SPS) are widely prevalent in the general population – constituting a psychosis continuum. In this regard, SPS in healthy individuals may also be associated with disturbance in neurodevelopment albeit to a lesser extent than schizophrenia. The aim of this study is to examine the relationship of MPA’s with psychotic as well as SPS.

Materials and Methods:

Subjects with schizophrenia and related disorders as the patients’ group (PG) (n=55) were compared to a group of healthy control subjects (CG) (n=61) with a comprehensive MPA assessment. We also examined the relationship of psychotic symptoms in the PG and SPS in the CG with MPA count and location.


In most topographical locations, MPA amount was significantly elevated in the PG than the CG. MPA’s were correlated with the number of psychotic episodes as well as overall severity of illness in the PG. Cranio-facial anomalies were associated with positive symptoms, and particularly ear anomalies were significantly associated with symptoms of disorganization. Similarly, in the CG, positive-SPS was associated with MPA’s in the cranio-facial area. Negative psychotic symptoms and negative-SPS were not associated with MPAs.


We report the first evidence that SPS in healthy individuals may be associated with cranio-facial MPAs which may be informative on the neurodevelopmental model of psychosis. Our results also suggest an association between cranio-facial MPAs and positive disorganization symptom domains in the psychosis continuum.

Keywords: Minor Physical Anomalies, Neurodevelopment, Psychotic Symptoms, Subclinical Psychotic Symptoms

Full Text (Turkish)