Social Cognition, Language, and Social Behavior in 7-Year-Old Children at Familial High-Risk of Developing Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder: The Danish High Risk and Resilience Study VIA 7-A Population-Based Cohort Study

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  • Camilla Jerlang Christiani, The Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research, iPSYCH, Denmark.
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  • Jens R M Jepsen, Center for Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research and Center for Clinical Intervention and Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research, Mental Health Services in the Capital Region of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.
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  • Anne Thorup, Mental Health Centre Copenhagen, Mental Health Services in the Capital Region of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark, The Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research, iPSYCH, Denmark.
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  • Nicoline Hemager, Copenhagen University Hospital, Mental Health Centre Copenhagen, Mental Health Services, Capital Region of Denmark, and the Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research, iPSYCH, Copenhagen, Denmark; Center for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Capital Region, Copenhagen.
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  • Ditte Ellersgaard, The Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research, iPSYCH, Denmark.
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  • Katrine S Spang, Copenhagen University Hospital, Mental Health Centre Copenhagen, Mental Health Services, Capital Region of Denmark, and the Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research, iPSYCH, Copenhagen, Denmark; Center for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Capital Region, Copenhagen.
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  • Birgitte K Burton, Copenhagen University Hospital, Mental Health Centre Copenhagen, Mental Health Services, Capital Region of Denmark, and the Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research, iPSYCH, Copenhagen, Denmark; Center for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Capital Region, Copenhagen.
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  • Maja Gregersen, The Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research, iPSYCH, Denmark.
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  • Anne Søndergaard
  • Aja N Greve
  • Ditte L Gantriis
  • Gry Poulsen, f Department of Public Health, Section of Biostatistics , University of Copenhagen , Copenhagen , Denmark.
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  • Md Jamal Uddin, f Department of Public Health, Section of Biostatistics , University of Copenhagen , Copenhagen , Denmark.
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  • Larry J Seidman, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA.
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  • Ole Mors
  • Kerstin J Plessen, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Centre, Mental Health Services Capital Region, Research Unit, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark; The Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research (iPSYCH), Aarhus, Denmark; Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland.
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  • Merete Nordentoft, Department of Biomedicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

OBJECTIVE: To characterize social cognition, language, and social behavior as potentially shared vulnerability markers in children at familial high-risk of schizophrenia (FHR-SZ) and bipolar disorder (FHR-BP).

METHODS: The Danish High-Risk and Resilience Study VIA7 is a multisite population-based cohort of 522 7-year-old children extracted from the Danish registries. The population-based controls were matched to the FHR-SZ children on age, sex, and municipality. The FHR-BP group followed same inclusion criteria. Data were collected blinded to familial high-risk status. Outcomes were social cognition, language, and social behavior.

RESULTS: The analysis included 202 FHR-SZ children (girls: 46%), 120 FHR-BP children (girls: 46.7%), and 200 controls (girls: 46.5%). FHR-SZ children displayed significant deficits in language (receptive: d = -0.27, P = .006; pragmatic: d = -0.51, P < .001), social responsiveness (d = -0.54, P < .001), and adaptive social functioning (d = -0.47, P < .001) compared to controls after Bonferroni correction. Compared to FHR-BP children, FHR-SZ children performed significantly poorer on adaptive social functioning (d = -0.29, P = .007) after Bonferroni correction. FHR-BP and FHR-SZ children showed no significant social cognitive impairments compared to controls after Bonferroni correction.

CONCLUSION: Language, social responsiveness, and adaptive social functioning deficits seem associated with FHR-SZ but not FHR-BP in this developmental phase. The pattern of results suggests adaptive social functioning impairments may not be shared between FHR-BP and FHR-SZ in this developmental phase and thus not reflective of the shared risk factors for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSchizophrenia Bulletin
ISSN0586-7614
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Mar 2019

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