Risk factors for schizophrenia. Follow-up data from the Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort Study
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This paper updates single risk factors identified by the Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort Study up to the end of year 2001 or age 34. Impaired performance (e.g., delayed motor or intellectual development) or adverse exposures (e.g., pregnancy and birth complications, central nervous system diseases) are associated with an increased risk for schizophrenia. However, upper social class girls and clever schoolboys also have an increased risk to develop schizophrenia, contrasted to their peers. Individuals who subsequently develop schizophrenia follow a developmental trajectory that partly and subtly differs from that of the general population; this trajectory lacks flexibility and responsiveness compared to control subjects, at least in the early stages. We propose a descriptive, lifespan, multilevel systems model on the development and course of schizophrenia.