The development of psychotic disorder has long been linked to pregnancy. New research, published in Lancet Psychiatry has identified at least 30 risk factors during the prenatal and perinatal periods that can lead to psychosis in children. Conducted by the NIHR Maudsley BRC, this was the first review of its kind in the last two decades. The results can help in screening during pregnancy and in creating preventive strategies.
The research team used information from the Web of Science database. They looked for cohort and case-control studies published from 1977 to July 2019. They looked at prenatal and perinatal factors, identifying the association of such factors with a non-organic psychotic disorder. They picked 152 studies relating to 98 factors. Of these, they found 30 as a significant risk and five as protective.
Significant risk factors included maternal and paternal ages, parental psychopathology, maternal psychosis, herpes simplex 2, three or more pregnancies, the season of birth, maternal stress, nutritional deficits, maternal hypertension, premature mature, definite obstetric complications, birthweight among others. Protective factors were maternal ages between 20 to 29 years, nulliparity, birthweights between 3500 and 3999 g or more than 4000 g.