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Schizophr Res. 2005 Nov 1;79(1):45-57.

Premorbid indicators and risk for schizophrenia: a selective review and update.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, Wayne State University School of Medicine, 4201 St Antoine, Suite 9B, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.


Prospective studies of young relatives at risk for schizophrenia (high-risk studies, HR) can shed light on premorbid precursors of schizophrenia. Early HR studies pointed to a wide prevalence of schizophrenia spectrum psychopathology among young relatives at increased genetic risk. Recent studies suggest that young HR relatives have neurobehavioral deficits and structural, physiological, and neurochemical brain abnormalities that may date back to childhood or earlier. In this paper, we provide a selected overview of the lessons and limitations of early "first generation" studies and the beginning insights from recent "second generation" studies. We also provide an interim summary of data from the ongoing studies of young relatives at risk for schizophrenia in Pittsburgh. Collectively, such data may help us to predict the eventual emergence of schizophrenia, and schizophrenia spectrum or non-spectrum psychopathology.

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