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World J Biol Psychiatry. 2005;6 Suppl 2:44-8.

Childhood meningitis increases the risk for adult schizophrenia.

Author information

1
Departament of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Sao Paulo, Rua Dr. Ovidio Pires de Campos 785, 05403-010 Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

We investigated the hypothesis that a meningitic infection in childhood may increase the risk of a psychiatric disorder in adulthood.

METHOD:

We conducted a follow-up study of 190 individuals affected by a meningitis infection the first 4 years of life, during an epidemic in São Paulo, Brazil, between 1971 and 1974. As a control group, we investigated 156 siblings of the meningitis patients who were not affected by meningitis at childhood.

RESULTS:

In the 190 cases of meningitis, we found eight (4.2%) cases of schizophrenia against none in the controls, and 40 (21.0%) cases of life occurrence of psychotic symptoms compared to 12 (7.6%) cases in the control group (P<0.001). We found no differences between the two groups regarding the occurrence of other psychiatric disorders and of neurological soft signs.

CONCLUSION:

Meningitis during childhood significantly increased the risk of schizophrenia in particular in adulthood, and of psychosis in general.

PMID:
16166023
DOI:
10.1080/15622970510030063
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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