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Lower cognitive ability in childhood is associated with increased risk of
future schizophrenia, but its relationship with adult psychotic-like
experiences and other psychopathology is less understood.
To investigate whether this childhood risk factor is shared with adult
subclinical psychiatric phenotypes including psychotic-like experiences
and general psychiatric morbidity.
A population-based sample of participants born in Great Britain during 1
week in March 1946 was contacted up to 20 times between ages 6 weeks and
53 years. Cognition was assessed at ages 8, 11 and 15 years using a
composite of age-appropriate verbal and non-verbal cognitive tests. At
age 53 years, psychotic-like experiences were self-reported by 2918
participants using four items from the Psychosis Screening Questionnaire
and general psychiatric morbidity was assessed using the scaled version
of the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28).
Psychotic-like experiences were reported by 22% of participants, and were
highly comorbid with other psychopathology. Their presence in adults was
significantly associated with poorer childhood cognitive test scores at
ages 8 and 15 years, and marginally so at age 11 years. In contrast, high
GHQ scores were not associated with poorer childhood cognition after
adjustment for the presence of psychotic-like experiences.
Psychotic and non-psychotic psychopathologic symptoms are highly comorbid
in the general population. Lower childhood cognitive ability is a risk
factor for psychotic-like experiences in mid-life; these phenomena may be
one end of a continuum of phenotypic expression driven by variation in
Depression in old age is an important public health problem. The aims of this study were to report the prevalence of depression in the Medical Research Council Cognitive Function and Ageing Study (MRC CFAS), a community-based, cohort.
Following screening of 13 004 people aged 65 and over from a population base, a stratified random subsample of 2640 participants received the Geriatric Mental State (GMS) examination and were diagnosed using the Automated Geriatric Examination for Computer-Assisted Taxonomy (AGECAT) algorithm.
The prevalence of depression was 8·7% [95% confidence interval (CI) 7·3–10·2], increasing to 9·7% if subjects with concurrent dementia were included. Depression was more common in women (10·4%) than men (6·5%) and was associated with functional disability, co-morbid medical disorder, and social deprivation. Prevalence remained high into old age, but after adjustment for other associated factors, it was lower in the older age groups.
The prevalence of depression in the elderly is high and remains high into old age, perhaps due to increased functional disability.
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