Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

First symptoms of psychosis evident in 12-year-olds, study suggests

Date:
May 2, 2010
Source:
Duke University
Summary:
Children normally experience flights of fancy, including imaginary friends and conversations with stuffed animals, but some of them are also having hallucinations and delusions which might be the early signs of psychosis.

Children normally experience flights of fancy, including imaginary friends and conversations with stuffed animals, but some of them are also having hallucinations and delusions which might be the early signs of psychosis.

Related Articles


A study of British 12-year-olds that asked whether they had ever seen things or heard voices that weren't really there, and then asked careful follow-up questions, has found that nearly 6 percent may be showing at least one definite symptom of psychosis.

The children who exhibited these symptoms had many of the same risk factors that are known to correlate with adult schizophrenia, including genetic, social, neurodevelopmental, home-rearing and behavioral risks.

"We don't want to be unduly alarmist, but this is also not something to dismiss," said co-author Terrie Moffitt, the Knut Schmidt Nielsen professor of psychology and neuroscience and psychiatry & behavioral sciences at Duke University. The study appears in the April issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.

The children were participants in the long-term Environmental Risk Longitudinal Twin Study in Britain, which includes 2,232 children who have been tracked since age 5 and reassessed at 7, 10 and 12.

The British study is an outgrowth of research that the same group did earlier with a long-term cohort in Dunedin, New Zealand. At age 11, those children were asked about psychotic symptoms, but the researchers waited 15 years to see how, as adults, their symptoms matched what they reported at 11. By age 26, half of the people who self-reported symptoms at age 11 were found to be psychotic as adults.

"It looks like a non-trivial minority of children report these symptoms," said co-author Avshalom Caspi, the Edward M. Arnett professor of psychology and neuroscience and psychiatry & behavioral sciences at Duke.

The findings provide more clues to the development of schizophrenia, but don't solve any questions by themselves, said co-author Richard Keefe, director of the schizophrenia research group in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke.

Schizophrenia often goes undetected until adolescence, when the first overt symptoms -- antisocial behavior, self-harm, delusions -- begin to manifest in an obvious way. But nobody knows whether the disease is triggered by the process of adolescence itself, or brain development or hormone changes. "It's my impression that all of those things interact," Keefe said.

Psychotic symptoms in childhood also can be a marker of impaired developmental processes, and are something caregivers should look for, Moffitt said. "There is not much you can do except monitoring and surveillance," Moffitt said. "But we feel we should be alerting clinicians that there's a minority to pay attention to."

While the incidence of psychotic symptoms in this study was around 5 or 6 percent, the adult incidence of schizophrenia is believed to be about 1 percent, Keefe added. There are some recent findings however, that many more people experience hallucinations and delusions without being diagnosed as psychotic, he said.

The research was supported by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, UK Medical Research Council, The National Alliance of Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, the Health Research Board of Ireland and the William T. Grant Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Duke University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Polanczyk et al. Etiological and Clinical Features of Childhood Psychotic Symptoms: Results From a Birth Cohort. Archives of General Psychiatry, 2010; 67 (4): 328 DOI: 10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2010.14

Cite This Page:

Duke University. "First symptoms of psychosis evident in 12-year-olds, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100430131159.htm>.
Duke University. (2010, May 2). First symptoms of psychosis evident in 12-year-olds, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100430131159.htm
Duke University. "First symptoms of psychosis evident in 12-year-olds, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100430131159.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins