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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  • Birgitte Klee Burton, 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. Electronic address: Birgitte.Klee.Burton@regionh.dk.
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  • Signe Vangkilde, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Centre, Mental Health Services Capital Region, Research Unit, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark; Center for Visual Cognition, Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen K, Denmark.
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  • Anders Petersen, Center for Visual Cognition, Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen K, Denmark.
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  • Lene Theil Skovgaard, f Department of Public Health, Section of Biostatistics , University of Copenhagen , Copenhagen , Denmark.
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  • Jens Richardt Jepsen, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Centre, Mental Health Services Capital Region, Research Unit, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark; Centre for Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research and Centre for Clinical Intervention and Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research, Copenhagen University Hospital, Psychiatric Hospital Centre Glostrup, Glostrup, Denmark; The Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research (iPSYCH), Aarhus, Denmark.
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  • Nicoline Hemager, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Centre, Mental Health Services Capital Region, Research Unit, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark; Mental Health Centre Copenhagen, Copenhagen University Hospital, Mental Health Services Capital Region, Hellerup, Denmark; Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen N, Denmark; The Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research (iPSYCH), Aarhus, Denmark.
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  • Camilla Jerlang Christiani, Mental Health Centre Copenhagen, Copenhagen University Hospital, Mental Health Services Capital Region, Hellerup, Denmark; Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen N, Denmark; The Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research (iPSYCH), Aarhus, Denmark.
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  • Katrine Soeborg Spang, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Centre, Mental Health Services Capital Region, Research Unit, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark; Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen N, Denmark; The Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research (iPSYCH), Aarhus, Denmark.
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  • Ditte Ellersgaard, Mental Health Centre Copenhagen, Copenhagen University Hospital, Mental Health Services Capital Region, Hellerup, Denmark; Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen N, Denmark; The Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research (iPSYCH), Aarhus, Denmark.
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  • Aja Greve
  • Ditte Gantriis
  • Heike Eichele, Department of Neuroscience and Department of Psychiatry, University Medical Center, Groningen, Netherlands; Department of Biological and Medical Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway.
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  • Ole Mors
  • Merete Nordentoft, Mental Health Centre Copenhagen, Copenhagen University Hospital, Mental Health Services Capital Region, Hellerup, Denmark; Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen N, Denmark; The Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research (iPSYCH), Aarhus, Denmark.
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  • Anne Amalie Elgaard Thorup, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Centre, Mental Health Services Capital Region, Research Unit, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark; Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen N, Denmark; The Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research (iPSYCH), Aarhus, Denmark.
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  • Kerstin Jessica 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.

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
Issue8
Pages (from-to)704-712
Number of pages9
ISSN2451-9022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018

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