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The psychosis risk timeline: can we improve our preventive strategies? Part 1: early life

  • Karen Romain (a1), Alexandra Eriksson (a1), Richard Onyon (a2) and Manoj Kumar (a3)


Psychosis is a complex presentation with a wide range of factors contributing to its development, biological and environmental. Psychosis is a feature present in a variety of psychiatric disorders. It is important for clinicians to keep up to date with evidence regarding current understanding of the reasons psychosis may occur. Furthermore, it is necessary to find clinical utility from this knowledge so that effective primary, secondary and tertiary preventative strategies can be considered. This article is the first of a three-part series that examines contemporary knowledge of risk factors for psychosis and presents an overview of current explanations. The articles focus on the psychosis risk timeline, which gives a structure within which to consider key aspects of risk likely to affect people at different stages of life. In this first article, early life is discussed. It covers elements that contribute in the prenatal and early childhood period and includes genetic, nutritional and infective risk factors.


After reading this article you will be able to:

  • give an up-to-date overview of psychosis risk factors that can affect early life
  • describe some important genetic risk factors
  • understand more about the role of environmental factors such as nutrition and infection.




Corresponding author

Correspondence Dr Karen Romain, St Michael's Hospital, Warwick CV34 5QW, UK. Email:


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Parts 2 and 3 of this series appear in this issue. For a commentary on the three articles, see this issue.



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The psychosis risk timeline: can we improve our preventive strategies? Part 1: early life

  • Karen Romain (a1), Alexandra Eriksson (a1), Richard Onyon (a2) and Manoj Kumar (a3)
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