July 11, 2005

Birth Complications & Child-onset Schizophrenia

Birth Complications don't lead to Child-onset Schizophrenia (but may lead to later-onset schizophrenia)

Schizophrenia is known for having a plethora of potential causes which makes its origin difficult to pinpoint. One of the links that has been established is the link between schizophrenia and birth complications. "Postnatal obstetric complications" are known for being more frequent in those with early-onset schizophrenia and to those with more severe cases of schizophrenia. Early onset schizophrenia is generally defined as before age 18 or 22.

Researchers decided to look at whether there was a similar link to those with childhood-onset schizophrenia. Surprisingly there was not a correlation between children with schizophrenia and obstetric complications. Such complications happened equally to children with schizophrenia as it did to other children their age without schizophrenia.

"'Additionally, parental age, birth weight, head circumference, and pregnancy medical complication score did not differ significantly between sibling and childhood-onset groups,' says the team.

The only obstetric complication that showed a positive association with childhood-onset schizophrenia was vomiting during pregnancy, but the researches[sic] note that this is a nonspecific and frequent complication of pregnancy and therefore difficult to quantify, and necessitates further scrutiny" (Psychiatry News, 2005).

Why this link has been found in those with an early onset of schizophrenia, but not those with childhood schizophrenia is still not greatly understood. Hopefully the link between birth complications and schizophrenia will be explored further in the near future so that this complicated factor will be grasped.

The source of this article was Psychiatry News and came from the Biological Psychiatry 58: 10–15. To find this article go to: http://tinyurl.com/ahxqn

To learn more about the causes of schizophrenia go to: http://www.schizophrenia.com/hypo.html


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