Community screening for psychotic-like experiences and other putative antecedents of schizophrenia in children aged 9-12 years

Department of Forensic Mental Health Science, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, Box P023, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK.
Schizophrenia Research (Impact Factor: 3.92). 03/2007; 90(1-3):130-46. DOI: 10.1016/j.schres.2006.11.006
Source: PubMed


Prospective longitudinal investigations are needed to identify causal processes leading to schizophrenia. However, there is presently no cost-effective way to identify children who are at risk of developing schizophrenia spectrum disorders: Although having a family history of schizophrenia is associated with elevated risk for developing spectrum disorders, the majority of individuals with schizophrenia do not have an afflicted relative. The present study aimed to test the feasibility of screening a community sample of children, aged 9 to 12 years, to identify children who experienced a triad of putative antecedents of schizophrenia that had been identified from previous research, including: (1) speech and/or motor development lags or problems; (2) social, emotional, or behavioural problems; and (3) psychotic-like-experiences (PLEs). 548 children and 264 caregivers completed questionnaires. 9.2% of boys and 4.1% of girls displayed the triad of antecedents. 58.9% of the children reported "certain experience" of one or more PLEs. The results suggest that questionnaire screening of community samples of children for the putative antecedents of schizophrenia spectrum disorders is feasible. Accuracy of identification will only be established by follow-up studies.

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    • "Although the scree plot suggested the single-factor solution, the unidimensionality of the PDI could not been confirmed by the confirmatory factor analysis (the asymptotically distribution free method) because of the small size of the study sample. What is more, specifying the prevalence of delusion-like experiences on the basis of the results of self-reports can distort these results and show higher values than real prevalence of delusion-like experiences [44, 45]. However, the results of previous studies show that scale scores on the basis of self-reports also allow to accurately calculate the risk of psychotic dis- orders [9, 15] and to predict the development of psychosis [27, 46, 47]. "

    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Psychiatria polska
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    • "Briefly, children aged 9–12 years and their caregivers independently completed questionnaires, at school and at home, respectively, assessing a triad of antecedents of schizophrenia, including: (i) a speech and/or motor delay or abnormality ; (ii) a social, emotional and/or behavioural problem; and (iii) a psychotic-like experience. Delays or abnormalities in speech and/or motor development were assessed via nine items included in the caregiver questionnaire (Laurens et al. 2007). Social, emotional and behavioural problems were defined as a score in the clinical range on at least one of the four psychopathology scales of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ; Goodman, 2001): emotional symptoms (childreported ); conduct problems; hyperactivity–inattention; and peer relationship problems (caregiver-reported). Psychotic-like experiences were assessed via nine items in the child questionnaire (Laurens et al. 2012); each item was rated on a three-point scale (0 = not true, 1 = somewhat true, 2 = certainly true) with a score of 2 on any item indicating a positive rating. "
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    ABSTRACT: Pituitary volume enlargements have been observed among individuals with first-episode psychosis. These abnormalities are suggestive of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis hyperactivity, which may contribute to the development of psychosis. However, the extent to which these abnormalities characterize individuals at elevated risk for schizophrenia prior to illness onset is currently unclear, as volume increases, decreases and no volume differences have all been reported relative to controls. The current study aimed to determine whether antipsychotic-naive, putatively at-risk children who present multiple antecedents of schizophrenia (ASz) or a family history of illness (FHx) show pituitary volume abnormalities relative to typically developing (TD) children. An additional aim was to explore the association between pituitary volume and experiences of psychosocial stress. ASz (n = 30), FHx (n = 22) and TD (n = 32) children were identified at age 9-12 years using a novel community-screening procedure or as relatives of individuals with schizophrenia. Measures of pituitary volume and psychosocial stress were obtained at age 11-14 years. Neither ASz nor FHx children showed differences in pituitary volume relative to TD children. Among FHx children only, pituitary volume was negatively associated with current distress relating to negative life events and exposure to physical punishment. The lack of pituitary volume abnormalities among ASz and FHx children is consistent with our previous work demonstrating that these children are not characterized by elevated diurnal cortisol levels. The findings imply that these biological markers of HPA axis hyperactivity, observed in some older samples of high-risk individuals, may emerge later, more proximally to disease onset.
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    • "in children and adolescents reported an extremely wide prevalence range across studies, with rates of up to 90% (Kelleher et al. 2012a). The authors restricted their analyses to the item of hearing voices and calculated a median prevalence of 17% among children (aged 9–12 years) and 7.5% among adolescents (aged 13–18 years) (Kelleher et al. 2012a).Laurens et al. (2007)found rates of PE in various ethnic groups between 40% and 70% and followed another strategy by defining a triad of putative schizophrenia antecedents , including developmental delays and high scores of other psychiatric symptoms. Between 0 Psychotic experiences among ethnic minority youth 643 (South Asian) and 15% (African-Caribbean) of"
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The risk for psychotic disorders is increased for many ethnic minority groups and may develop in early childhood. This study investigated whether the prevalence of psychotic experiences (PE) with high impact is higher among ethnic minority youth compared to majority youth and examined the significance of these PE. Method: A school-based study assessed a large community sample of 1545 ethnic minority and majority children in The Netherlands (mean age 12.98 ± 1.81 years). The Dutch (n = 702, 45.4%), Moroccan-Dutch (n = 400, 25.9%) and Turkish-Dutch (n = 170, 11.0%) ethnic groups could be studied separately. Self-report questionnaires on PE, impact and cultural context were administered. Results: Prevalence of PE with high impact was 3.1% in Dutch, 9.5% in Moroccan-Dutch and 7.1% in Turkish-Dutch youth. Compared to Dutch youth, odds ratios were 3.0 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.7-5.1] for Moroccan-Dutch youth and 2.2 (95% CI 1.1-4.6) for Turkish-Dutch youth. Differences were not explained by cultural or religious differences. Conclusions: The increased risk for psychotic disorders in ethnic minorities may already be detectable in childhood, since PE with high impact were more common among ethnic minority youth compared to majority youth. The additional measurement of impact of PE appears to be a valid approach to identify those children at risk to develop psychotic or other more common psychiatric disorders.
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