A population-based study of atopic disorders and inflammatory markers in childhood before psychotic experiences in adolescence

Golam M. Khandaker*, Stanley Zammit, Glyn Lewis, Peter B. Jones

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)
152 Downloads (Pure)


Abstract BACKGROUND: Schizophrenia has a neurodevelopmental component to its origin, and may share overlapping pathogenic mechanisms with childhood neurodevelopmental disorders (NDs). Nevertheless, longitudinal studies of psychotic outcomes among individuals with NDs are limited. We report a population-based prospective study of six common childhood NDs, subsequent neurocognitive performance and the risk of psychotic experiences (PEs) in early adolescence. METHOD: PEs were assessed by semi-structured interviews at age 13 years. IQ and working memory were measured between ages 9 and 11 years. The presence of six NDs (autism spectrum, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dysgraphia, dysorthographia, dyscalculia) was determined from parent-completed questionnaires at age 9 years. Linear regression calculated the mean difference in cognitive scores between children with and without NDs. Associations between NDs and PEs were expressed as odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs); effects of cognitive deficits were examined. Potential confounders included age, gender, father's social class, ethnicity and maternal education. RESULTS: Out of 8220 children, 487 (5.9 were reported to have NDs at age 9 years. Children with, compared with those without, NDs performed worse on all cognitive measures; the adjusted mean difference in total IQ was 6.84 (95% CI 5.00-8.69). The association between total IQ and NDs was linear (p <0.0001). The risk of PEs was higher in those with, compared with those without, NDs; the adjusted OR for definite PEs was 1.76 (95% CI 1.11-2.79). IQ (but not working memory) deficit partly explained this association. CONCLUSIONS: Higher risk of PEs in early adolescence among individuals with childhood ND is consistent with the neurodevelopmental hypothesis of schizophrenia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-145
Number of pages7
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number1
Early online date22 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Adolescence
  • Asthma
  • Atopic disorders
  • Birth cohort
  • Childhood
  • CRP
  • Cytokine
  • Eczema
  • IL-6
  • Immunity
  • Inflammatory markers
  • Prospective study
  • Psychotic experiences
  • Psychotic symptoms
  • Schizophrenia


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