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Region Hovedstaden - en del af Københavns Universitetshospital

Concordance Rates and Early Risk Factors in Schizophrenia: A Twin Study

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Brief description of the project This study is designed as a combination of clinical examinations and register-based data. Schizophrenia is a severe and heterogeneous brain disease characterized by a multiplicity of symptoms including positive and negative symptoms and neurocognitive deficits.
The neurodevelopmental hypothesis of schizophrenia suggests that the illness is related to abnormal brain development and that environmental influence may affect critical brain circuits and cause illness onset. Environmental factors that have been shown to increase the risk of developing schizophrenia include perinatal events, CNS infections, adverse childhood experiences and drug abuse. No previous study has systematically examined whether there is an additive, or maybe even a synergistic effect of environmental risk factors in a twin study design, which is one of the main objectives of this study. Twin studies offer a unique opportunity to examine the relation between genetic and environmental influence in complex disorders such as schizophrenia(Hulshoff Pol et al., 2006), and by combining data from Danish registers of known high quality with modern neuropsychiatric examinations, we aim to evaluate risk factors with a minimum of confounders. From early twin studies the concordance rates for schizophrenia are 33-78% in MZ twins and 8-28% in DZ.
More recent studies have estimated rates of 41-65% in MZ and 0-28% in DZ. There is empirical evidence for methodological procedures being systematically associated with concordance rates, so that register based sample selection and zygosity determination by genetic testing significantly lower concordance rates. One of our objectives in the present study is to calculate exact concordance rates by including a representative, register based sample, using blood tests to establish zygosity and further refining the concordance figures by obtaining data on very early developmental factors as placental/chorion status. To our knowledge, no previous study has established concordance rates based on placental status in an unbiased twin-sample.
FinansieringskildeForskningsråd (Offentlig)
ForskningsprogramSamfin. PHD skolen/Psykiatrisk Center Glostrup
Beløb750.000,00 Danske Kroner

ID: 32195172