Genetic Predisposition To Schizophrenia Associated With Childhood Impairments

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr Lucy Riglin

Division of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics
Cardiff University School of Medicine
Cardiff UK

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that usually occurs after puberty. However, previous research suggests that individuals who go on to develop schizophrenia often presented cognitive, social, behavioural, and emotional impairments in childhood.

Our study found that, in a general population sample, genetic risk for schizophrenia was associated with these childhood impairments as early as age 4 years.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Our findings suggest that childhood learning, social, behavioural, and emotional impairments, that have previously been implicated as antecedents to schizophrenia, might represent early manifestations of genetic liability.

Genetic liability to schizophrenia may therefore contribute to traits that are observable in the general population from a very early age, many years before the onset of any adult forms of psychopathology, and as symptoms that do not resemble psychosis.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: An important research goal is to distinguish whether this is genetic liability influencing a broad spectrum of difficulties, not just illness (pleiotropy) or whether the childhood developmental impairments are causally associated with later adult illnesses. Follow-up studies of children at high-risk would be helpful for this.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: This study is a general population survey so very few will develop schizophrenia.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:

Schizophrenia risk alleles and neurodevelopmental outcomes in childhood: a population-based cohort study
Riglin, Lucy et al.
The Lancet Psychiatry , Volume 4 , Issue 1 , 57 – 62
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(16)30406-0
Published:05 December 2016

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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