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Logo of bmcpsycBioMed Centralsearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleBMC Psychiatry
BMC Psychiatry. 2011; 11: 60.
Published online Apr 14, 2011. doi:  10.1186/1471-244X-11-60
PMCID: PMC3090339
Familial liability, obstetric complications and childhood development abnormalities in early onset schizophrenia: a case control study
Francesco Margari,1 Maria G Petruzzelli,2 Paola A Lecce,2 Orlando Todarello,1 Andrea De Giacomo,2 Elisabetta Lucarelli,2 Domenico Martinelli,3 and Lucia Margaricorresponding author2
1Department of Neurologic and Psychiatric Sciences, Psychiatric Unit, University of Bari, Bari, Italy
2Department of Neurologic and Psychiatric Sciences, Child Neuropsychiatric Unit, University of Bari, Bari, Italy
3Department of medical and occupational science (DIMED), section of Hygiene, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
Francesco Margari: margari.f/at/; Maria G Petruzzelli: giusypetruzzelli/at/; Paola A Lecce: paolalecce/at/; Orlando Todarello: ortod/at/; Andrea De Giacomo: a.degiacomo/at/; Elisabetta Lucarelli: elianalucarelli/at/; Domenico Martinelli: domenicomartinelli/at/; Lucia Margari: l.margari/at/
Received July 30, 2010; Accepted April 14, 2011.
Genetic and environmental risk factors and gene-environment interactions are linked to higher likelihood of developing schizophrenia in accordance with the neurodevelopmental model of disease; little is known about risk factors and early development in early-onset schizophrenia (EOS) and very early-onset schizophrenia (VEOS).
We present a case-control study of a sample of 21 patients with EOS/VEOS and a control group of 21 patients with migraine, recruited from the Child Neuropsychiatry Unit, Department of Neurologic and Psychiatric Science, University of Bari, Italy. The aim was to assess the statistical association between VEOS/EOS and family history for psychiatric disorders, obstetric complications and childhood developmental abnormalities using 2 × 2 tables and a Chi Squared or Fisher test.
The results show a statistical association between EOS/VEOS and schizophrenia and related disorders (P = 0.02) and personality disorders (P = 0.003) in relatives, and between EOS/VEOS and developmental abnormalities of early relational skills (P = 0.008) and learning (P = 0.04); there is not a statistically relevant difference between cases and controls (P > 0.05) for any obstetric complications (pre, peri and postpartum).
This study confirms the significant role of familial liability but not of obstetric complications in the pathogenesis of VEOS/EOS; the association between childhood developmental abnormalities and EOS/VEOS supports the neurodevelopmental model of disease.
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