Infant motor development and adult cognitive functions in schizophrenia.
ABSTRACT Childhood neuromotor dysfunction is a risk factor for schizophrenia, a disorder in which cognitive deficits are prominent. The relationship between early neurodevelopment and adult cognition in schizophrenia remains unclear.
We examined the associations between infant motor development and adult cognitive functions in schizophrenia (n = 61) and the general population (n = 104) in a sample drawn from the The Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort. Data on ages of learning to stand and walk with or without support were obtained at age 12 months by health visitor assessment. Neurocognitive measures at age 33-35 included executive function, verbal and visual episodic memory, and visuo-spatial working memory.
The schizophrenia group achieved neuromotor milestones later and performed significantly worse than the control group on all measures of cognition. In pooled analyses there were associations between infant motor development and adult cognition in the domains of executive function, verbal learning and visuospatial working memory, but not in visual object learning. The pattern of associations between development and cognition was similar in schizophrenia and the general population.
These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that in schizophrenia mild infant motor developmental delay and adult cognitive deficits (at least in some domains) are age dependent manifestations of the same underlying neural process. Thus, they may be better considered as part of a single longitudinal syndrome.
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ABSTRACT: Birth cohort (BC) studies demonstrate that individuals who develop schizophrenia differ from the general population on a range of developmental indices. The aims of this article were to summarize key findings from BC studies in order to identify areas of convergence and to outline areas requiring further research. We define BC studies as studies based on general population BCs where data are collected prospectively from birth or childhood and which identify schizophrenia or related disorders as an outcome. To identify such studies, we searched various electronic databases using the search parameters (schizo* OR psych*) AND (birth cohort). We also checked the references of relevant articles and previous reviews. We identified 11 BCs from 7 countries that have examined schizophrenia as an outcome in adulthood. There is relatively consistent evidence that, as a group, children who later develop schizophrenia have behavioral disturbances and psychopathology, intellectual and language deficits, and early motor delays. Evidence with respect to alterations in language, educational performance, and physical growth has also been identified in some studies. BC studies have also contributed evidence about a wide range of putative risk factors for schizophrenia. BC studies have provided important, convergent insights into how the developmental trajectory of individuals who develop schizophrenia differs from their peers. The combination of new paradigms and larger cohorts, with the tools of modern epidemiology and biomedical science, is advancing our understanding of the developmental pathways to schizophrenia.Schizophrenia Bulletin 05/2009; 35(3):603-23. · 8.80 Impact Factor