Schizophrenia is usually thought of as something that develops during adolescence when the first symptoms such as antisocial behaviour, self-harm and delusions begin to show up in an obvious way. However, a new study of 2,232 British 12-year-olds suggests that nearly 6% of them may be showing at least one definite symptom of psychosis. The children who showed psychosis symptoms had many of the risk factors for adult schizophrenia including genetic, social, neurodevelopmental, family and behavioural risks. A previous study of children in New Zealand found that half of those who showed psychosis symptoms in childhood went on to develop the condition in adulthood. 6% of children is more than the estimated 1% of adults who suffer from psychosis but other studies have shown that many adults hear voices or have hallucinations without developing mental-health problems.
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