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Sustained Attention and Interference Control Among 7-Year-Old Children With a Familial High Risk of Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder-A Nationwide Observational Cohort Study

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BACKGROUND: Given the partially shared genetic liability between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, we aimed to assess whether 7-year-old children with a familial high risk of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder display specific deficits of sustained attention and interference control compared with each other and with control children.

METHODS: An observational cohort was identified through Danish registries and consisted of 522 children 7 years of age with no, one, or two parents with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Control subjects were matched based on age, sex, and municipality. Sustained attention and interference control were assessed using Conners' Continuous Performance Test II and a modified Eriksen flanker task. Assessors were blinded to group membership of participants. The effect of higher genetic loading was not considered in the statistical models owing to low numbers.

RESULTS: At 7 years of age, children with a familial high risk of schizophrenia displayed deficits of sustained attention and subtle deficits in interference control compared with control children and children with a familial high risk of bipolar disorder. Children with a familial high risk of bipolar disorder displayed similar abilities of sustained attention and interference control as control children except in terms of a lower accuracy.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest distinct neurodevelopmental characteristics in middle childhood of sustained attention and interference control for children of parents with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBiological psychiatry. Cognitive neuroscience and neuroimaging
Volume3
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)704-712
Number of pages9
ISSN2451-9022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018

ID: 54707820