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Thread: What are the odds?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    At home, most of the time.
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    178

    What are the odds?

    I am the step-father of an 8 year old boy. This year his biological father was diagnosed and institutionalized with schizophrenia. I was wondering what are the odds my stepson will develop the disorder? He currently seems to suffer from a very strong case of ADHD (the slow release medication seems to have no effect, only the old generic 4-hour doses seem to work). Also, upon speaking to his grandmother, she suspects his grandfather may have had the same condition as well, although never formally diagnosed. She said he was very suspicious, and forced her to listen to rambling speeches that would often go on for an hour or more.

    At this point I am very worried about the future of my stepson. Is there a genetic component to this disease and is there a history of comorbidity with ADHD?

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  3. #2

    What are the odds?

    There is a genetic component to schizophrenia but what seems to be inherited is a vulnerability rather than "the symptoms" or "the illness" per se, and that vulnerability is probably to some sort of "neurochemical imbalance" rather than to a specific illness. Close biological of schizophrenics are more likely to develop mood disorders (depression, dysthymia, bipolar disorder, cyclothymia), or anxiety disorders (including obsessive-compulsive disorder), or yes even ADHD. Possibly the link between these things is that they all involve disturbances in one or more of the three major neurotransmitters: serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine.

    You should certainly have your stepson monitored as he goes through puberty, adolescence, and his early 20s, but he is not "doomed by genetics". Elsewhere in this forum, you will see a reference to a case of identical twins where one twin developed schizophrenia and the other did not.

  4. #3

    What are the odds?

    Hello Steve,

    I have a son who is 25 and living with schizophrenia. There is another manual that can be downloaded for free and was produced by the Schizophrenia Society of Canada. I believe it is more of an updated version of the manual that is on the top of this forum. When I read the rules about posting links I may post it here. In the Rays of Hope Manual it is stated that a person has a 10-15% chance of developing schizophrenia if one parent or a brother/sister has the illness. If both parents have schizophrenia the risk increases 40-50%. Grandchildren, nieces and nephews have a 3% chance and an identical twin has a 50% chance.

    Cheers
    Judy

  5. #4

    What are the odds?

    Judy, if you know of a link to an updated manual, please feel free to post it. This forum is about open exchange of information so you won't be breaching any rules and I'm sure other members will be grateful.

  6. #5

    What are the odds?

    Thanks David,

    Here is the link to the PDF file from the Schizophrenia Society of Canada.

    Family Reference Manual
    Learning About Schizophrenia:
    Rays of Hope [PDF]

    http://www.schizophrenia.ca/famref/szref1.pdf

    This book is also available for free by contacting any provincial branch of the Schizophrenia Society.

    Cheers
    Judy

  7. #6

    What are the odds?

    Thanks, Judy!

  8. #7

    What are the odds?

    On a related note:

    "Babies exposed to the flu virus in utero have a larger risk of developing schizophrenia, according to a study in the Archives of General Psychiatry. Contact with the flu in the first half of pregnancy tripled a baby's chance for the mental disease." -- Psychology Today, 12/04 issue
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  9. #8

    What are the odds?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel
    On a related note:

    "Babies exposed to the flu virus in utero have a larger risk of developing schizophrenia, according to a study in the Archives of General Psychiatry. Contact with the flu in the first half of pregnancy tripled a baby's chance for the mental disease." -- Psychology Today, 12/04 issue
    This is a fascinating line of research but not yet entirely established. It is consistent, however, with previous research indicating that babies born during the months January to April show a higher incidence of schizophrenia later in life.

  10. #9

    What are the odds?

    Admin note:

    Several subsequent posts in this thread were split into separate topics to preserve the original question(s).

  11. #10

    What are the odds?

    Quote Originally Posted by David Baxter
    Admin note:

    Several subsequent posts in this thread were split into separate topics to preserve the original question(s).
    AWESOME for you to put this thread back
    on track David. Good ... I was worried about
    the trend it took ... but thought you would fix
    it if you deemed fit :)
    Hugs from Kanadiana ...

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