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The aetiology of psychosis high-risk mental states during adolescence in the ALSPAC cohort

Document type: Projects: In progress/completed
Document language: English
Uploaded By: Allan Colver (allancolver)
Date Uploaded: 2012/01/13 12:40:24.122 GMT+1
URL to a webpage or document based online:

Basic Information

Authors: Professor G Lewis, University of Bristol
Published on Date: 2008
Funding source project: Medical Research Council (MRC)

The presence of psychotic symptoms with concurrent impaired functioning is likely to present a high-risk mental state for development of clinical psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia, and indeed such individuals are amongst the targets for early intervention services. Our broad aim is to understand more about how these high-risk mental states for psychosis arise during adolescence in order to inform future preventive interventions. More specifically our aims are as follows:

Aim 1: To estimate the prevalence of a high-risk mental state for psychosis at age 17, as defined by psychotic symptoms with concurrent impairment in social, educational, or occupational functioning.

Aim 2: To examine the continuities and discontinuities between psychopathology in childhood and early-mid adolescence and high-risk mental states at age 17.

Aim 3: To investigate the hypothesis that decline in IQ between 8 and 15 years is associated with the development of a high-risk mental state by age 17, independently of other psychopathology.

Aim 4: To investigate the hypothesis that cannabis use during adolescence is associated with development of a high-risk mental state by age 17, independently of confounding factors and reverse causation effects. We will also test the hypothesis that early use of cannabis confers an increased risk of a high risk mental state. We will examine gene-environment interplay between cannabis use and genetic variation within a number of candidate genes for psychosis including the reported interaction with variation within COMT.

In order to achieve these aims we will conduct an interview-based assessment of psychotic symptoms in a population-based sample of 17-year old adolescents within the ALSPAC cohort, and assess the impact of these symptoms on social, educational and occupational functioning from personal, parental and educational reports.

Riche Classification

Demography: All , 10-14 years , 15-18 years , Older child (secondary school: broadly 11-16 years) , Adolescent (under 18 years) ,
Child Related Topics: Health care involving children ,
Health issues, determinants and measures: Psychological determinants , Mental health , Mental disorders and problems , Mental health , Emotional and personal aspects ,
Languages and Geographical Perspective: English ,
Study type / scale / state of progress / setting: Cohort incidence study , Longitudinal study - cohort, trend, panel , Health care facility , Ongoing ,