Scientists still do not really know what causes schizophrenia although it is likely that there are lots of different factors, including environmental and genetic ones, involved. One of the suspects is exposure to infectious diseases as a child in the womb and some studies have pointed to a link with influenza. Researchers from the University Medical Center, Utrecht, in the Netherlands looked at studies of children whose mothers lived through the Asian flu pandemic of 1957-1958. The researchers looked at 11 international studies comparing the rates of schizophrenia in children who were in the womb during the pandemic and those who were born before or after it. They also analyzed two studies of women who were pregnant and had the flu during the outbreak. Overall they found no increase in the risk of schizophrenia for those who had been in the womb while their mothers suffered from, or lived through, the pandemic.
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