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5 Factors Help Predict Psychosis in Children
Date:1/9/2008

Family history of schizophrenia, social withdrawal among symptoms, study finds,,

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- It may be possible to predict who will develop psychotic illnesses, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, very early in the disease process, a new study says.

The study found five factors that were often present prior to the diagnosis of a psychotic disorder in children who were already at high risk of such disorders. When three or more of these factors were present, the study found an 80 percent likelihood of developing psychosis within two and a half years.

"Not everybody who has early symptoms goes on to develop psychosis. But if we identify the group in which 80 percent will develop psychosis, the efforts of intervention would be best applied to those at highest risk," said study author Tyrone D. Cannon, the Staglin Family professor of psychology, psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Results of the study were published in the Jan. 7 issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

Cannon said it's not yet known if early intervention with anti-psychotic medications would help prevent the development of psychotic illnesses. He said two studies have suggested that early psychological intervention might be more useful, because they can give teens skills for staying connected, solving problems and for conflict resolution.

Symptoms of psychosis are seen in numerous mental health disorders, such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression, and with some forms of alcohol or drug abuse, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP). The two most common psychotic symptoms are delusions and hallucinations, according to AACAP. Delusions are false but firmly held beliefs. Hallucinations are false sensory perceptions, such as hearing voices when no one is talking.

While these symptoms can
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5 Factors Help Predict Psychosis in Children
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