Transmission of intelligence, working memory, and processing speed from parents to their seven-year-old offspring is function specific in families with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder

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  • Aja Neergaard Greve
  • Jens Richardt Møllegaard Jepsen, iPSYCH -The Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Erik Lykke Mortensen, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Rudolf Uher, Dalhousie University
  • ,
  • Lynn Mackenzie, Dalhousie University
  • ,
  • Leslie Foldager
  • Ditte Gantriis
  • Birgitte Klee Burton, iPSYCH -The Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Ditte Ellersgaard, iPSYCH -The Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Camilla Jerlang Christiani, iPSYCH -The Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Katrine S. Spang, iPSYCH -The Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Nicoline Hemager, iPSYCH -The Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Jamal Uddin, iPSYCH -The Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Maria Toft Henriksen, Aarhus University
  • ,
  • Kate Kold Zahle, iPSYCH -The Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research
  • ,
  • Henriette Stadsgaard
  • Kerstin J. Plessen, iPSYCH -The Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research, University of Copenhagen, University of Lausanne
  • ,
  • Anne A.E. Thorup, iPSYCH -The Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Merete Nordentoft, iPSYCH -The Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Ole Mors
  • Vibeke Bliksted

Background: Prior studies have shown high heritability estimates regarding within-function transmission of neurocognition, both in healthy families and in families with schizophrenia but it remains an open question whether transmission from parents to offspring is function specific and whether the pattern is the same in healthy families and families with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. We aimed to characterize the transmission of intelligence, processing speed, and verbal working memory functions from both biological parents to their 7-year-old offspring in families with parental schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and population-based control parents. Methods: The population-based cohort consists of 7-year-old children with one parent diagnosed with schizophrenia (n = 186), bipolar disorder (n = 114), and of parents without schizophrenia or bipolar disorder (n = 192). Children and both parents were assessed using identical, age-relevant neurocognitive tests of intelligence, verbal working memory, and processing speed. Results: In multiple regression analyses children's intelligence, verbal working memory, and processing speed scores were significantly associated with the corresponding parental cognitive function score. All associations from parents to offspring across functions were non-significant. No significant parental cognitive function by group interaction was observed. Conclusion: Transmissions of intelligence, processing speed, and verbal working memory from parents to offspring are function specific. The structure of transmission is comparable between families with schizophrenia, families with bipolar disorder and families without these disorders.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Volume246
Pages (from-to)195-201
Number of pages7
ISSN0920-9964
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022

    Research areas

  • Familial high risk, Heritability, Neurocognition, Transgenerational transmission

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