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There are lacking prospective studies in general population of adolescents about symptoms predicting the onset of first episode psychosis.
Members (N= 9,215) of the Northern Finland 1986 Birth Cohort, an unselected general population cohort, were invited to participate in a field survey during 2001, at ages of 15-16 years. The study included a 21-item PROD-screen questionnaire screening prodromal symptoms for psychosis for last six months (Heinimaa et al. 2003). PROD-screen included nine questions for positive and five questions for negative features. The Finnish Hospital Discharge Register was used to find out new cases of hospital treated mental disorders during 2002-2005.
Of the subjects 17 (0.3%) were treated due to first episode psychosis and 95 (1.5%) due to non-psychotic disorder during the follow-up period. Positive symptoms did not associate with the onset of psychosis, but negative symptoms did. 94% of subjects who got psychosis reported negative symptoms. Respective figure for those who were treated for non-psychotic disorder was 48%, and for those ‘healthy’ without psychiatric hospital treatment 46% (Fisher's exact test: psychosis vs. healthy p<0.001, psychosis vs. non-psychosis p<0.001, and non-psychosis vs. healthy p=0.61).
This study may be the only one exploring prospectively in general population features predicting onset of first episode psychosis. The findings emphasize the importance of negative symptoms in the development of neuropsychiatric disorder of first episode psychosis (Weinberger 1995).
The Academy of Finland, the Signe and Ane Gyllenberg Foundation, the Sigrid Juselius Foundation and the Thule Institute, Finland.
Subjects with family history of psychosis and with prodromal symptoms are at risk for schizophrenia. The aim was to study whether adolescents with familial risk have more commonly prodromal features.
Members (N= 9,215) of the Northern Finland 1986 Birth Cohort, an unselected general population cohort, were invited to participate in a field survey conducted during 2001-2002. At the ages of 15-16 years, the study included a 21-item PROD-screen questionnaire developed for screening prodromal psychotic symptoms with 12 specific questions for psychosis (Heinimaa et al. 2003). The scale measured symptoms for last six months. The Finnish Hospital Discharge Register was used to find out parental psychoses during 1972-2000.
Of the males 24% and 37% of the females were screen positives for prodromal features at the age of 15-16 years. Of the offspring, 1.8% had parents with psychosis. The prevalence of screen positives was 26% in males and 36% in females with familial risk for psychosis.
Prodromal features of psychosis are prevalent in adolescence. It may be difficult to screen adolescent subjects at risk for developing schizophrenia with a questionnaire in a general population, especially as these symptoms do not appear to be more common among subjects with familial risk.
The Academy of Finland, the National Institute of Mental Health, the Signe and Ane Gyllenberg Foundation and the Thule Institute, Finland.
Schizophrenia is considered to be a neurodevelopmental disorder arising as a result of interactions between genetic vulnerability and environmental risk factors. We studied the association between mothers" antenatal depressed mood and schizophrenia in their adult offspring with special consideration to Familial Risk for psychosis.
In the Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort mothers of 12,058 children were asked at mid-gestation at the antenatal clinic if they felt depressed. This general population birth cohort of the children was followed up for over 30 years, being record-linked with the Finnish Hospital Discharge Register (FHDR) for detecting psychosis in the subjects. The FHDR was also used for identifying psychosis in the parents. Familial Risk for psychosis was considered as a genetic risk factor and mothers’ depression as an environmental risk factor.
Offspring with both Familial Risk of psychosis and depressed mother had the highest cumulative incidence of schizophrenia, 7.4% (adjusted OR 10.3; 4.6-23.0). Of the offspring with only psychotic parent without antenatal depression, 2.3% got schizophrenia (OR 2.6; 1.2-5.4). In the offspring without Familial Risk of psychosis and with maternal depression the risk of developing schizophrenia was not elevated.
Mothers’ depressed mood during pregnancy per se is unlikely to increase the risk for schizophrenia in the offspring, but may effect in subjects at risk for psychosis. This finding is an example of a gene x environment interaction in the development of schizophrenia.
This work was supported by grants from the Signe and Ane Gyllenberg Foundation and the Academy of Finland.
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