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Thread: Painkiller Use in Pregnancy Tied to Schizophrenia

  1. #1

    Painkiller Use in Pregnancy Tied to Schizophrenia

    By Richard Woodman
    LONDON (Agence de Presse Medicale) - Babies exposed to painkillers during the later stages of pregnancy appear to have an increased risk of developing schizophrenia in adulthood, according to the findings of a large Danish study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

    To investigate the theory that prenatal exposure to analgesics might affect fetal neurodevelopment, leading to increased risk of schizophrenia in adulthood, the Copenhagen University team matched data from the Copenhagen Perinatal Cohort with information from the Danish Psychiatric Central Register.

    Among a subset of 7999 individuals, 116 cases of schizophrenia were identified. Prenatal exposure to analgesics in the second trimester was associated with a nearly five-fold increased risk of schizophrenia.

    The association remained statistically significant after factoring a parental history of schizophrenia and other risk factors.

    Holger Srensen and colleagues said that development of the cortical subplate reaches its peak in the second trimester, so the fetal brain might be particularly sensitive to a range of environmental influences in the womb at that time.

    SOURCE: British Journal of Psychiatry, November 2004.

    Article Source http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsArticle...1&section=news

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  3. #2

    Painkiller Use in Pregnancy Tied to Schizophrenia

    One caution about all this, Judy:

    I've been studying psychology since the 60s and I can tell you that I have seen numerous factors "blamed" for schizophrenia over the years, almost all of which have turned out to be statistical anomalies that cannot be replicated or in the end are determined to be correlative but not causative.

    What worries me about the recent research such as this is that, while I know it may well turn out to be nothing, I wonder in the meantime how much possibly unnecessary guilt it will create for mothers of schizophrenics?

    This is not an argument against doing the research or publishing it or reading about it. Simply a caution that it is very speculative at present...

  4. #3

    Painkiller Use in Pregnancy Tied to Schizophrenia

    David,

    Studying psychology since the 60's? Oh my, you're old :~}

    I had some hesitation about posting this for that very reason too. Mom's do tend to feel a lot of guilt when the theories are brought up that are related to pregnancy. As it is we spend all of our time searching and revisiting...."what if".

    You could be right about the statistics and correlation too. Here is the actual study if people want to check into more.
    The British Journal of Psychiatry (2004) 185: 366-371
    http://bjp.rcpsych.org/cgi/content/full/185/5/366

    My hesitation to post was over ridden by my thoughts about "possible prevention" and my belief that schizophrenia is a neurodevelopmental disorder.

    Thanks for your insight. It's appreciated.

    Cheers
    Judy

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