Schizophrenia - Genetic Vulnerability

Professor Pat Levitt comments that people with genetic vulnerability to schizophrenia often have developmental problems from an early age.

When we talk about predisposition to a disorder like schizophrenia we’re really talking about genetic vulnerability. We believe that a combination of gene mutations causes a vulnerability to this disorder. The puzzle about schizophrenia is that the first break that is when we begin to see that the psychosis happens at a point much later, usually in the early twenties. So why don’t we see those kinds of schizophrenia symptoms early on in childhood? Well, we know first of all that there are differences among people who develop schizophrenia even early on. Motor coordination, some cognitive skills - they’re very subtle and they’re not unique to schizophrenia – but we know that there seems to be a propensity for people who develop schizophrenia to have some other issues early on.

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