November 29, 2006

Co-existing Psychiatric Disorders Common in Childhood-Onset Schizophrenia

When young children have schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder they often (99% of those studied) have other (comorbid) psychiatric conditions as well.

Researchers at the University of Colorado report in Schizophrenia Research that other than using mood-stabilizers for recurrent affective (mood) episodes, the other comorbid conditions are usually (more than 75% of the time) not being treated pharmacologically.

The researchers, Randal Ross, Shari Heinlein and Hope Tregellas, comment that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV may be focusing attention to the schizophrenia diagnosis and away from recognizing and treating the comorbid conditions. A lack of supported treatment guidelines for comorbid conditions may also be a factor. Lack of treatment for comorbid psychiatric conditions may be contributing to a poorer outcome.

The researchers conclude:

"Additional efforts focused on comorbidity in very-early-onset schizophrenia are warranted."

Read full article: Comorbidity common in childhood-onset schizophrenia on PsychiatryMatters.MD

Original Source: High rates of comorbidity are found in childhood-onset schizophrenia (Schizophrenia Research)

Follow link for more information on Childhood Schizophrenia

Read More About Psychiatric Comorbidity in Schizophrenia:
Conduct Disorder Link to Schizophrenia Violence
The Toll of Brain Disorders


Unfortunately they don't specify which conditions are comorbid (often found) with COS. I'm thinking they're referring to OCD, depression, etc, some of the same issues in other words found in adult diagnoses. Actually, depression, OCD and other diagnoses aren't always also applied, because the diagnosis of schizophrenia usually is sufficient to explain such symptoms (which are common with schizophrenia), and the treatments are also similar (people often get antidepressants for negative symptoms, and ocd symptoms, alone or with schizophrenia, are usually treated with a combination of antidepressants and antipsychotics). it will be interesting to see what the full article says, and which conditions they are saying aren't being properly diagnosed.


Posted by: slc2 at November 29, 2006 10:40 AM

They do mention that the top 4 comorbid conditions are: Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (84% of children), oppositional defiant disorder (43%), depression (30%), separation anxiety disorder (25%).

They also mention that comorbid conditions are prevalent in adult-onset as well.

Posted by: Jeanie at November 29, 2006 10:47 AM

Just my opinion - but I honestly would have thought that OCD would be the top one, and that the attentional problems are a PART of the schizopphrenia - not a separate diagnosis.

Also, the lack of pharmacological treatment may be because the other meds could have a NEGATIVE effect on the schizophrenia.

For instance - using stimulants for the supposed ADHD could exacerbate the psychosis. Using SSRI antidepressants could exacerbate the bipolar symptoms.

Posted by: Naomi at November 29, 2006 10:52 AM

you're absolutely right.

Posted by: slc2 at November 30, 2006 06:06 AM

Another thing that the study seems to pass over (at least the summary does, I can't get at the full write up), is that there are other conditions that also are comorbid quite often with COS, not psychiatric, but other neurological conditions as well as other physical conditions. Seizures, for example, occur in more COS children than in the rest of the population. Autonomic instability, digestive problems, there are many issues with this often complex condition. I do also know COS kids who only have COS and are completely healthy otherwise.

Posted by: slc2 at November 30, 2006 06:44 AM

The article only discussed "psychiatric" comorbidity. You are absolutely right - there are other issues. As the saying goes - when there is one thing wrong with the brain/nervous system, there usually is more wrong as well.

Posted by: Naomi at November 30, 2006 01:52 PM

the type of comorbid physical disorders is just one other thing that argues so compellingly for a physical, developmental/genetic cause, process and origin. embryonically, all the comorbidities develop from the same embryonic tissues.

Posted by: slc2 at December 5, 2006 12:39 PM

more information about child schizophrenia

Posted by: safaahassan at January 22, 2008 10:42 AM

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