Neurodevelopmental model of schizophrenia (ARCHIVED)

by Dr Brendan Kelly


Last updated: January 2009


Please note: This module has now been archived. It is still available to view, but please be aware when completing the module that it was last updated in 2009. A CPD certificate is available for the module, but this will be subject to the approval of your peer group.  


If you are a consultant-level psychiatrist interested in updating this material, please contact us.


Recent decades have seen the accumulation of substantial evidence to support the idea that disturbances to the development of the brain and nervous system during gestation increase the risk of schizophrenia: this is the ‘neurodevelopmental theory of schizophrenia’ (Murray et al, 1992; Weinberger, 1996).


Multiple lines of evidence have been developed to support this theory, including studies based on evidence of disturbed craniofacial development, neurological soft signs, dermatoglyphic anomalies, and other indices of prenatal disturbances to neural development.


This module aims to explore these specific lines of evidence and to examine how they might be integrated into a ‘life-course’ approach to the aetiology of schizophrenia.


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