The genetic architecture of schizophrenia is complex and highly polygenic. This article discusses key findings from genetic studies of childhood-onset schizophrenia (COS) and the more common adult-onset schizophrenia (AOS), including studies of familial aggregation and common, rare, and copy number variants. Extant literature suggests that COS is a rare variant of AOS involving greater familial aggregation of schizophrenia spectrum disorders and a potentially higher occurrence of pathogenic copy number variants. The direct utility of genetics to clinical practice for COS is currently limited; however, identifying common pathways through which risk genes affect brain function offers promise for novel interventions.
Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder; Childhood-onset schizophrenia; Common variants; Copy number variants; De novo mutations; GWAS; Genetics; Rare variants.
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