Schizophrenia in Childhood

Professor James Watson explains that although schizophrenia is rarely diagnosed before adolescence, abnormalities may exist from an early age.

Symptoms of schizophrenia, the florid symptoms of schizophrenia – massive delusions, seeing visions – generally only appear in adolescence, somewhat earlier for boys than girls. The simplest explanation is we have a slightly different chemistry during adolescence, whether its well-known hormones, we don’t know. But they probably reflect a different set of genes functioning in later adult life than function in early life. On the other hand, symptoms of schizophrenia, potential schizophrenia, can be spotted by one year in life because people who are going to become schizophrenic are generally characterized by walking later than normal. They learn how to walk four months later than people who won’t have the disease. So, it is a very broad disease of which the final manifestations only appear in adolescence, but the childhood of people who’ll be schizophrenic is somewhat crippled beforehand. They have poor social interactions, and just something like walking – you often hear said "they’re slightly spaz’s." The brain hasn’t developed quite normally.

schizophrenia, childhood, brain, development, neurodevelopment, development, social skills, delusions, cognitive abnormalities, social interactions, hallucinations, adolescence, james watson

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