The early origins of schizophrenia

Br Med Bull. 1997 Jan;53(1):135-55. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.bmb.a011596.


Large population-based studies indicate that children who will as adults develop the clinical syndrome of schizophrenia are different from their peers in terms of the acquisition of a range of neurological, cognitive and behavioural characteristics. These studies are also identifying possible causal factors which might operate early in life and so be responsible for a longitudinal aspect of the disorder. Studies of the brain yield results consistent with the multi-system nature of the clinical syndrome of schizophrenia in adult life, and with the notion of a longitudinal or developmental phenotype, of which the adult syndrome is but one aspect. Work in these areas is reviewed with special reference to national birth cohorts from Britain and Finland.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain / pathology
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Developmental Disabilities / complications
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Fetal Diseases
  • Humans
  • Intelligence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity
  • Pregnancy
  • Schizophrenia / etiology*
  • Schizophrenia / genetics
  • Schizophrenia / pathology
  • Social Environment