For the past 28 years, we have been following and studying a group of children at high risk for schizophrenia in order to try to understand why some became schizophrenic and why some have successful lives. We have proposed a """"""""two-hit' theory of the etiology of schizophrenia. The theory suggests that the fiat hit consists of a genetic predisposition to abnormal neural development during the second trimester of gestation and that the second hit is environmental. The environmental hit consists of either 1) brain damage caused by delivery complications or 2) stressful early family rearing conditions. The nature of the second hit may help determine type of course of the illness. In addition to the 28-year study of the high risk children, we propose investigations of birth cohorts in Copenhagen and Helsinki to study the role of disturbances of gestation and of delivery in the etiology of schizophrenia and in the determination of type of course of the illness. In an additional research project, we are testing the basic assumption that the first genetic hit results in disturbed fetal neural development. In this study we are completing anatomical, immunocytochemical and molecular neurobiological studies of targeted areas of the cerebral cortex and diencephalon of the brains of second-trimester aborted fetuses of schizophrenic women and controls. Plans for training of the PI include gaining familiarity with the laboratory procedures for neuroanatomy, immunocytochemical and molecular neurobiology research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Research Scientist Award (K05)
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Research Scientist Development Review Committee (MHK)
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University of Southern California
Schools of Arts and Sciences
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Venables, Peter H; Liu, Jianghong; Raine, Adrian et al. (2007) Prenatal influenza exposure and delivery complications: implications for the development of schizophrenia. Fam Community Health 30:151-9
Schiffman, Jason; Maeda, Justin A; Hayashi, Kentaro et al. (2006) Premorbid childhood ocular alignment abnormalities and adult schizophrenia-spectrum disorder. Schizophr Res 81:253-60
Schiffman, Jason; Pestle, Sarah; Mednick, Sara et al. (2005) Childhood laterality and adult schizophrenia spectrum disorders: a prospective investigation. Schizophr Res 72:151-60
Schiffman, Jason; Lam, Cecilia W; Jiwatram, Tina et al. (2004) Perspective-taking deficits in people with schizophrenia spectrum disorders: a prospective investigation. Psychol Med 34:1581-6
Schiffman, Jason; Walker, Elaine; Ekstrom, Morten et al. (2004) Childhood videotaped social and neuromotor precursors of schizophrenia: a prospective investigation. Am J Psychiatry 161:2021-7
Liu, Jianghong; Raine, Adrian; Venables, Peter H et al. (2004) Malnutrition at age 3 years and externalizing behavior problems at ages 8, 11, and 17 years. Am J Psychiatry 161:2005-13
Raine, Adrian; Mellingen, Kjetil; Liu, Jianghong et al. (2003) Effects of environmental enrichment at ages 3-5 years on schizotypal personality and antisocial behavior at ages 17 and 23 years. Am J Psychiatry 160:1627-35
Liu, Jianghong; Raine, Adrian; Venables, Peter H et al. (2003) Malnutrition at age 3 years and lower cognitive ability at age 11 years: independence from psychosocial adversity. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 157:593-600
Carter, John W; Schulsinger, Fini; Parnas, Josef et al. (2002) A multivariate prediction model of schizophrenia. Schizophr Bull 28:649-82
Schiffman, Jason; Ekstrom, Morten; LaBrie, Joseph et al. (2002) Minor physical anomalies and schizophrenia spectrum disorders: a prospective investigation. Am J Psychiatry 159:238-43

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