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Intellectual disability and other neuropsychiatric outcomes in high-risk children of mothers with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and unipolar major depression

  • Vera A. Morgan (a1), Maxine L. Croft (a2), Giulietta M. Valuri (a3), Stephen R. Zubrick (a4), Carol Bower (a5), Thomas F. McNeil (a6) and Assen V. Jablensky (a7)...

Abstract

Background

Recent evidence points to partially shared genetics of neuropsychiatric disorders.

Aims

We examined risk of intellectual disability and other neuropsychiatric outcomes in 3174 children of mothers with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or unipolar major depression compared with 3129 children of unaffected mothers.

Method

We used record linkage across Western Australian population-based registers. The contribution of obstetric factors to risk of intellectual disability was assessed.

Results

Children were at significantly increased risk of intellectual disability with odds ratios (ORs) of 3.2 (95% CI 1.8–5.7), 3.1 (95% CI 1.9–4.9) and 2.9 (95% CI 1.8–4.7) in the maternal schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and unipolar depression groups respectively. Multivariate analysis suggests familial and obstetric factors may contribute independently to the risk. Although summated labour/delivery complications (OR = 1.4, 95% CI 1.0–2.0) just failed to reach significance, neonatal encephalopathy (OR = 7.7, 95% CI 3.0–20.2) and fetal distress (OR = 1.8, 95% CI 1.1–2.7) were independent significant predictors. Rates of rare syndromes in children of mothers with mental disorder were well above population rates. Risk of pervasive developmental disorders, including autism, was significantly elevated for children of mothers with bipolar disorder. Risk of epilepsy was doubled for children of mothers with unipolar depression.

Conclusions

Our findings provide epidemiological support for clustering of neuropsychiatric disorders. Further larger epidemiological studies are warranted.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Professor Vera A. Morgan, School of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, The University of Western Australia, Level 3 Medical Research Foundation Building, Rear 50 Murray Street, Perth, 6000, Western Australia, Australia. Email: Vera.Morgan@uwa.edu.au

Footnotes

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See editorial, pp. 268–269, this issue.

Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes

References

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Intellectual disability and other neuropsychiatric outcomes in high-risk children of mothers with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and unipolar major depression

  • Vera A. Morgan (a1), Maxine L. Croft (a2), Giulietta M. Valuri (a3), Stephen R. Zubrick (a4), Carol Bower (a5), Thomas F. McNeil (a6) and Assen V. Jablensky (a7)...
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