Friday, September 05, 2008

Psychosis in children - hallucinations-on-Avon

Many mental illnesses occur on a continuum with many more people showing at least some symptoms of them without being diagnosed with the full-blown condition. Several studies have indicated that psychosis could fall into this category with some people in 'non-clinical' populations displaying psychosis-like symptoms. A study of 6,455 12-year-old children in Avon looked into the prevalence of psychotic symptoms (auditory and visual hallucinations, and delusions) and how they were linked to IQ. There is a link between IQ and the risk of schizophrenia (the risk rises as IQ falls) but the relationship between IQ and psychosis-like symptoms is not clearly established. The researchers found that in the last 6 months 13.7% of the children had had at least one psychotic symptom. Those who had below-average IQ scores had an increased risk of such symptoms but for children of average, or above-average IQ there was no link between IQ and psychosis-like symptoms.

Horwood, Jeremy ... [et al] - IQ and non-clinical psychotic symptoms in 12-year-olds: results from the ALSPAC birth cohort British Journal of Psychiatry September 2008, 193(3), 185-191

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

According to a theory developed by Swiss neuroscientists, the condition is not caused by a brain deficiency but by a system overload which causes the world to seem frightening and overly intense.

Husband and wife team Kamila and Henry Markram of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, believe the idea could explain the erratic nature of the condition.

"Our hypothesis is that autistic people perceive, feel and remember too much," Kamila Markram told the New Scientist.

Faced with this "intense world" , autistic infants withdraw, with serious consequences for their social and linguistic development, she added.