Impaired motor skills may indicate psychosis for kids in families with psych disorders

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January 30, 2023

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In children at high familial risk for schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, evidence of motor impairment skills may indicate psychotic neurodevelopmental vulnerabilities.

“Motor abnormalities are clinically relevant as an underlying component of the disease process of psychosis and provide insight into the developmental psychopathology of psychosis.” Dr. Bridget Clay Burton Researchers from the Center for Child and Adolescent Mental Health at Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark wrote: Lancet Psychiatry.

For Danish children, impaired motor skills may indicate psychosis for children at familial risk for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Source: Adobe Stock

Burton and colleagues sought to assess associations between motor development and psychotic experiences in Danish children at familial high risk (FHR) for schizophrenia or bipolar disorder compared with healthy controls.

The researchers conducted a prospective longitudinal cohort study in Denmark with a baseline study between January 2013 and January 2016 and an initial follow-up between March 2017 and June 2020. We obtained data from the high-risk and resilience study of . The cohort included 437 children (54 % male; mean age 11.99 years) born in Denmark between 1 September 2004 and 31 August 2009 with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. not have one or two Danish-born parents diagnosed with

Children without biological parents diagnosed with schizophrenia spectrum disorder or bipolar disorder are more likely than children with schizophrenic FHR by multiple sociodemographic criteria (one with schizophrenia spectrum disorder or Children with matched FHR for bipolar disorder (one or two parents with bipolar disorder) were included as an unmatched group.

Motor function of participants with FHR for schizophrenia, children with FHR for bipolar disorder, and children in the control group were first assessed at 8 years of age during the baseline study and then at 12 years of age during follow-up. was assessed via the Children’s Motor Assessment Battery. 2nd edition (movement ABC-2). Psychotic experiences were assessed by the Schizophrenia Children’s Schedule for Affective Disorders and School-Age Children – Current and Lifetime Editions. The researchers utilized linear mixed model analysis to assess motor development from baseline to follow-up in each group, and logistic regression to assess definite motor deficits (5th percentile of Movement ABC-2) and We investigated the relationship with psychotic experiences.

Results showed that children with schizophrenic FHR showed stable developmental deficits in manual dexterity (intercept difference -1.62 [95% CI –2.39 to –0.85]; slope difference 0.17 [–0.48 to 0.81]) and balance (intercept difference –1.58 [–2.34 to –0.82]; slope difference 0.32 [–0.34 to 0.99]), and delayed development of aim and catch (slope difference -1.07) [–1.72 to –0.41]; intercept difference –0.59 [–1.35 to 0.17]) compared with the control group. Conversely, children with her FHR with bipolar disorder showed no differences in motor development between groups.

Compared with controls, children with schizophrenia FHR were significantly more likely to have bipolar disorder FHR (OR 2.45 [1.28 to 4.70]). The researchers further found that children with definite movement disorders were more likely in all groups (OR 1.90 [1.12 to 3.21]) have had more psychotic experiences than no children.

“Clinicians should be aware that childhood movement disorders may reflect neurodevelopmental susceptibility to psychosis,” Burton and colleagues write.

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