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Schizophr Res. 2006 Jun;84(2-3):187-93. Epub 2006 Mar 20.

Psychotic symptoms in children and adolescents with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome: Neuropsychological and behavioral implications.

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Service Médico-Pédagogique, Department of Psychiatry, University of Geneva School of Medicine, 16-18 Boulevard St-Georges, Case Postale 50, 1211 Geneva 8, Switzerland.


Individuals with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS) are at increased risk for developing schizophrenia: half of affected adolescents report transient psychotic experiences and up to 30% of adults are diagnosed with schizophrenia. Prospective studies have shown that psychotic symptoms in childhood are predictive of later schizophreniform disorders. The current study aimed to define the prevalence and correlates of psychotic symptoms (PS) in young children and adolescents with 22q11DS. Forty-three children and adolescents with 22q11DS (mean age = 10.62+/-11.19) participated in this study. The occurrence of PS and their neuropsychological and behavioral correlates were investigated through semi-structured interviews and standardized measures. Psychotic symptoms were reported in 28% of the total sample and 17% of pre-adolescent children, and associated with decreased verbal IQ scores [F(1) = 4.41, p = 0.042]. Compared to young patients without PS, young patients with PS were perceived by their parents as more anxious-depressed [F(1) = 4.76, p = 0.035] and withdrawn [F(1) = 7.63, p = 0.009], with reduced adaptive socialization skills [F(1) = 6.88, p = 0.012]. Results suggest that psychotic manifestations are present earlier than typically reported in youngsters with 22q11DS and are accompanied by reduced verbal IQ performance and decreased adaptative social skills. The symptomatic, neuropsychological and behavioral characteristics observed in the current study may constitute central markers of increased risk for psychosis in 22q11DS.

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