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Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1999;8 Suppl 1:I9-12.

Childhood-onset schizophrenia: a follow-up study.

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  • 1UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute, Los Angeles, CA 90024-1759, USA.


This paper presents results from the UCLA Follow-Up Study of Childhood-Onset Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders. Eighteen children with schizophrenia (SZ) were assessed 1 to 7 years following initial project intake. Results demonstrated significant continuity between SZ spectrum disorders in childhood and adolescence. Although not all children who presented initially with SZ continued to meet criteria for SZ spectrum disorder as they progressed through the follow-up period, rates of SZ spectrum disorders ranged from 78-89% across the first three follow-up years. Rates of continuing SZ ranged from 67% to 78% across the three follow-up years and rates of schizoaffective disorder ranged from 11% to 13% across the three follow-up years. Variability in levels of functioning were observed with 45% of the sample showing deteriorating course or minimal improvement and 55% of the sample showing moderate improvement or good outcomes. This variability in outcome is comparable to that seen in adults with SZ, suggesting that with current treatments childhood-onset does not ensure a more severe disorder.

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