First Symptoms of Psychosis Evident in 12-Year-Olds, Study Suggests

Children normally experience flights of fancy, including imaginary friends and conversations with stuffed animals, but some of them are also having hallucinations and delusions which might be the early signs of psychosis.

A study of British 12-year-olds that asked whether they had ever seen things or heard voices that weren’t really there, and then asked careful follow-up questions, has found that nearly 6 percent may be showing at least one definite symptom of psychosis.

The children who exhibited these symptoms had many of the same risk factors that are known to correlate with adult schizophrenia, including genetic, social, neurodevelopmental, home-rearing and behavioral risks.

Source from materials provided by Duke University, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

Journal Reference: Polanczyk et al. Etiological and Clinical Features of Childhood Psychotic Symptoms: Results From a Birth Cohort. Archives of General Psychiatry, 2010; 67 (4): 328 DOI: 10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2010.14

Submitted by Anna