Schizophrenia-Related Brain Abnormalities Seen in At-Risk Neonates

Results of a new study provide the first evidence that early neonatal brain development may be abnormal in males at increased genetic risk for schizophrenia, the researchers say.

Limitations of Study

The relatively small number of study subjects, which had 0.8 power to detect differences in gray matter volume of about 10%, is 1 limitation of the study.

The fact that most of the mothers of the high-risk infants took antipsychotics during pregnancy is another. Studies in nonhuman primates suggest that long-term antipsychotic exposure can affect cortical gray matter volume.

Mothers of high-risk infants were also more likely to have smoked tobacco or used illicit substances while pregnant, which could have confounded the results. Although there were no differences in volumes between the high-risk neonates exposed to maternal smoking and those not exposed.

Reported by Megan Brooks
Medscape Medical News

Study Published in Am J Psychiatry. Published online June 1, 2010.

Submitted by Anna

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