Article

Migration and schizophrenia.

Department of Psychiatry, University Medical Centre, Utrecht, the Netherlands, and Department of Health Sciences, Lund University, Malmö University Hospital, Sweden.
Current Opinion in Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 3.55). 04/2007; 20(2):111-5. DOI: 10.1097/YCO.0b013e328017f68e
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT An exploration of the evidence that a history of migration is a risk factor for schizophrenia and an evaluation of those studies that seek an explanation for this.
A meta-analysis found an increased risk for schizophrenia among first-generation and second-generation migrants and found a particularly high risk for migrants from countries where the majority of the population was Black. The latter finding was confirmed and extended by a large first-contact incidence study in the UK, which found excessive risks for schizophrenia and mania in the African-Caribbean and black-African sections of the population. A very high risk of schizophrenia has also been reported for Moroccan males in the Netherlands. The explanation for these findings is uncertain. Social adversity, racial discrimination, family dysfunction, unemployment and poor housing conditions have been proposed as contributing factors. According to one hypothesis, the chronic experience of social defeat disturbs dopamine function in the brain.
A personal or family history of migration is a high risk factor for schizophrenia and there is now strong evidence against selective migration as the explanation. There is an increasing interest in the impact of social stressors on brain functioning and on the pathogenesis of schizophrenia.

1 Follower
 · 
104 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Autoimmunity, gastrointestinal (GI) disorders and schizophrenia have been associated with one another for a long time. This paper reviews these connections and provides a context by which multiple risk factors for schizophrenia may be related. Epidemiological studies strongly link schizophrenia with autoimmune disorders including enteropathic celiac disease. Exposure to wheat gluten and bovine milk casein also contribute to non-celiac food sensitivities in susceptible individuals. Co-morbid GI inflammation accompanies humoral immunity to food antigens, occurs early during the course of schizophrenia and appears to be independent from antipsychotic-generated motility effects. This inflammation impacts endothelial barrier permeability and can precipitate translocation of gut bacteria into systemic circulation. Infection by the neurotropic gut pathogen, Toxoplasma gondii, will elicit an inflammatory GI environment. Such processes trigger innate immunity, including activation of complement C1q, which also functions at synapses in the brain. The emerging field of microbiome research lies at the center of these interactions with evidence that the abundance and diversity of resident gut microbiota contribute to digestion, inflammation, gut permeability and behavior. Dietary modifications of core bacterial compositions may explain inefficient gluten digestion and how immigrant status in certain situations is a risk factor for schizophrenia. Gut microbiome research in schizophrenia is in its infancy, but data in related fields suggest disease-associated altered phylogenetic compositions. In summary, this review surveys associative and experimental data linking autoimmunity, GI activity and schizophrenia, and proposes that understanding of disrupted biological pathways outside of the brain can lend valuable information regarding pathogeneses of complex, polygenic brain disorders.
    Schizophrenia Research 07/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.schres.2014.06.027 · 4.43 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Psychotic experiences are common in the general population, and predict later psychotic illness. Much less is known about negative symptoms in the general population. This study utilized a sample of 4,914 Israel-born individuals aged 25-34 years who were screened for psychopathology in the 1980's. Though not designed to specifically assess negative symptoms, data were available on 9 self-report items representing avolition and social withdrawal, and on 5 interviewer-rated items assessing speech deficits, flat affect and poor hygiene. Psychotic experiences were assessed using the False Beliefs and Perceptions subscale of the Psychiatric Epidemiology Research Interview. Psychiatric hospitalization was ascertained 24 years later using a nation-wide psychiatric hospitalization registry. After removing subjects with diagnosable psychotic disorders at baseline, 20.2% had at least one negative symptom. Negative symptoms were associated with increased risk of later schizophrenia only in the presence of strong (frequent) psychotic experiences (OR = 13.0, 9% CI: 2.1-79.4). Negative symptoms are common in the general population, though the majority of people with negative symptoms do not manifest a clinically diagnosed psychiatric disorder. Negative symptoms and psychotic experiences critically depend on each other's co-occurrence in increasing risk for later schizophrenia.
    PLoS ONE 03/2015; 10(3):e0119852. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0119852 · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Aim: The purpose of this study was to investigate continuity of care in the psychiatric healthcare system from the perspective of patients, including vulnerable groups such as immigrants and refugees. Method: The study is based on 19 narrative interviews conducted with 15 patients with diverse migration backgrounds (immigrants, descendents, refugees, and ethnic Danes). Patients were recruited from a community psychiatric centre situated in an area with a high proportion of immigrants and refugees. Data were analysed through the lens of a theoretical framework of continuity of care in psychiatry, developed in 2004 by Joyce et al., which encompasses four domains: accessibility, individualised care, relationship base and service delivery. Results: Investigating continuity of care, we found issues of specific concern to immigrants and refugees, but also commonalities across the groups. For accessibility, areas pertinent to immigrants and refugees include lack of knowledge concerning mental illness and obligations towards children. In terms of individualised care, trauma, additional vulnerability, and taboo concerning mental illness were of specific concern. In the domain of service delivery, social services included assistance with immigration papers for immigrants and refugees. In the relationship base domain, no differences were identified. Implications for priority area: The treatment courses of patients in the psychiatric field are complex and diverse and the patient perspective of continuity of care provides important insight into the delivery of care. The study highlights the importance of person-centred care irrespective of migration background though it may be beneficial to have an awareness of areas that may be of more specific concern to immigrants and refugees. Conclusions: The study sheds light on concerns specific to immigrants and refugees in a framework of continuity of care, but also commonalities across the patient groups.
    International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 09/2014; 11(9):9739-9759. DOI:10.3390/ijerph110909739 · 1.99 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Download
507 Downloads
Available from
Jun 4, 2014