Childhood-onset schizophrenia: biological markers in relation to clinical characteristics

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry

Publication Date


Document Type



Adolescent; Age of Onset; Biological Markers; Brain; Child; Child Development Disorders, Pervasive; Comorbidity; Female; Humans; Language Disorders; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Pregnancy; Pregnancy Complications; Psychiatric Status Rating Scales; Schizophrenia, Childhood; Sex Factors; Social Adjustment




OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between clinical and neurobiological measures of childhood-onset schizophrenia. It was hypothesized that there would be a more striking pattern in the rare cases with very early onset than is seen in subjects with later onset.

METHOD: Premorbid, clinical, prenatal, perinatal, and magnetic resonance imaging brain measures were examined in 29 children and adolescents who met the DSM-III-R criteria for schizophrenia with onset before age 12. Specifically, gender, premorbid adjustment, and clinical symptoms were examined in relation to cerebral volume, ventricular volume, and maternal obstetrical complications.

RESULTS: Males were more likely to have had an insidious onset than females. There was a significant negative correlation between score on the Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms and total cerebral volume.

CONCLUSIONS: These neurobiological associations support the continuity of early-onset schizophrenia with the later-onset disorder; the striking association between smaller cerebral volume and negative symptoms suggests a more homogeneous or more potent neurobiological basis for very early-onset schizophrenia.


Am J Psychiatry. 1997 Jan;154(1):64-8.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The American journal of psychiatry

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Link to Article in PubMed

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