Childhood-onset schizophrenia: Research update

Sanjiv Kumra, Maryanne Shaw, Patricia Merka, Emilie Nakayama, Rachel Augustin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


This review is a research update of recent literature related to childhood-onset schizophrenia (onset of psychotic symptoms by age 12 years). This subgroup of patients has attracted considerable research interest because patients with a childhood onset may represent a more homogeneous patient population in which to search for risk or etiologic factors. We examine data indicating that childhood-onset schizophrenia (COS) shares the same clinical and neurobiologic features as later-onset forms of the disorder. Compared with adults with schizophrenia, however, this subgroup of patients appears to have more severe premorbid neuro-developmental abnormalities, more cytogenetic anomalies, and potentially greater family histories of schizophrenia and associated spectrum disorders. While preliminary, these data indicate that a greater genetic vulnerability may be one of the underpinnings of COS. Future studies of this subgroup may provide important clues as to the genetic basis for schizophrenia and how gene products influence certain features of the disease, such as age of onset and mode of inheritance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)923-930
Number of pages8
JournalCanadian Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Children
  • Genetics
  • Neuroimaging
  • Research
  • Review
  • Schizophrenia


Dive into the research topics of 'Childhood-onset schizophrenia: Research update'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this