Predictors of schizophrenia--a review

Br Med Bull. 2005 Jun 9:73-74:1-15. doi: 10.1093/bmb/ldh046. Print 2005.


Schizophrenia is an aetiologically heterogeneous syndrome that usually becomes overtly manifest in adolescence and early adulthood, but in many cases subtle impairments in neurointegrative function are present from birth; hence it is considered to be a disorder with a neurodevelopmental component. The strongest risk factor that has been identified is familial risk with genetic loading. Other risk factors include pregnancy and delivery complications, infections during pregnancy, disturbances of early neuromotor and cognitive development and heavy cannabis use in adolescence. Unfortunately, to date it has not been possible to utilize the predictors of the disorder that have been identified in primary preventative interventions in a general population. However, some authors have claimed that in future it might be possible to reduce the risk for developing schizophrenia through general health policy. In clinical settings, it is helpful to map out possible early risk factors, at least familial risk for psychosis, especially in child, adolescent and young adult mental patients. Furthermore, in the future we may have predictive models combining data from genetic factors for schizophrenia, antenatal risk factors, childhood and adolescent development and clinical symptomatology, as well as brain structural and functional abnormalities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Cognition Disorders / complications
  • Delivery, Obstetric
  • Developmental Disabilities / complications
  • Family Health
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Marijuana Abuse / complications
  • Models, Biological
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / etiology
  • Pregnancy Complications / genetics
  • Risk Factors
  • Schizophrenia / etiology*
  • Schizophrenia / genetics
  • Schizophrenia / pathology
  • Schizophrenic Psychology
  • Social Environment