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J Psychiatr Res. 1992 Oct;26(4):225-35.

Genes, viruses and neurodevelopmental schizophrenia.

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Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, London, U.K.


Recent neuroimaging and neuropathological studies suggest a developmental origin for schizophrenia. Some cases may, therefore, be caused by a genetic defect in the specification of brain development. Early environmental hazards such as obstetric complications, and maternal exposure during pregnancy to influenza epidemics, have also been found to increase the risk of later schizophrenia. The relationship between the prevalence of influenza and birth date has been found more consistently for female than male schizophrenics. Female schizophrenia is also associated with a higher risk of schizophrenia in first degree relatives. This raises the question of whether part of the genetic predisposition to schizophrenia may comprise an abnormal reaction to maternal influenza.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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