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Fetal and birth complications increase mental illness risks

Washington, DC -- New mental illness research offers bold insights into mental health risks associated with fetal and birth complications according to several papers published in the February 2000 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

In a study at Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute, researchers learned the risk of developing major affective disorder increased in births exposed to famine in the second trimester and jumped significantly for subjects exposed in the third trimester.

["Further Evidence of Relation Between Prenatal Famine and Major Affect Disorder," by Alan S. Brown, et. al., p 190] APAfastFAX#6905

In a 19-year NIMH-supported longitudinal study using 693 men and women, researchers found hypoxic-ischemia-related fetal/neonatal complications could double the risk of developing a psychotic disorder. The study showed an elevated, graded, independent risk of schizophrenia and other nonaffected psychoses associated with this classification of antecedent hypoxic-ischemia-related fetal/neonatal complications.

["Hypoxic-Ischemia-Related Fetal/Neonatal Complications and Risk of Schizophrenia and Other Nonaffective Psychoses: A 19-Year Longitudinal Study," by Gwen L. Zornberg, et. al., p. 196] APAfastFAX#6904

In a third study by the Malmo University Hospital, Sweden, and the National Institute of Mental Health, Thomas F. McNeil and associates learned that trauma at the time of labor and delivery and especially prolonged labor appeared to be of importance for brain structure anomalies associated with schizophrenia.

["Relationship of Obstetric Complications and Differences in Size of Brain Structures in Monozygotic Twin Pairs Discordant for Schizophrenia," Thomas F. McNeil, et. al, p. 203] APAfastFAX#6903

Also in the February issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry:

Major Depressive Disorder Highly Recurrent

Researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health Collaborative Program
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Contact: Richard Ottinger
rottinger@psych.org
202-682-6119
American Psychiatric Association
27-Jan-2000


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