Study aims to ID schizophrenia in young people

January 21, 2008 2:39:12 PM PST
A new study finds five key factors can help predict whether at risk young people will go on to develop schizophrenia.

They say the findings show it is feasible to identify a person's risk of schizophrenia as accurately as gauging his or her risk of heart disease or diabetes.

The study in January's Archives of Psychiatry found the five characteristics included a genetic risk combined with a recent decline in function, higher levels of unusual thought content, more suspicion or paranoia, more social impairment and past or current substance abuse.

Scientists also say this raises the possibility of preventing psychotic illness since the earlier it is caught the less damaging it is.