Childhood dyspraxia predicts adult-onset nonaffective-psychosis-spectrum disorder

Jason Schiffman*, Vijay Mittal, Emily Kline, Erik L. Mortensen, Niels Michelsen, Morten Ekstrom, Zachary B. Millman, Sarnoff A. Mednick, Holger J. Sorensen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Several neurological variables have been investigated as premorbid biomarkers of vulnerability for schizophrenia and other related disorders. The current study examined whether childhood dyspraxia predicted later adult nonaffective-psychosis-spectrum disorders. From a standardized neurological examination performed with children (aged 10-13) at genetic high risk of schizophrenia and controls, several measures of dyspraxia were used to create a scale composed of face/head dyspraxia, oral articulation, ideomotor dyspraxia (clumsiness), and dressing dyspraxia (n = 244). Multinomial logistic regression showed higher scores on the dyspraxia scale predict nonaffective-psychosis-spectrum disorders relative to other psychiatric disorders and no mental illness outcomes, even after controlling for genetic risk, χ2 (4, 244) = 18.61, p <.001. Findings that symptoms of dyspraxia in childhood (reflecting abnormalities spanning functionally distinct brain networks) specifically predict adult nonaffective-psychosis-spectrum disorders are consistent with a theory of abnormal connectivity, and they highlight a marked early-stage vulnerability in the pathophysiology of nonaffective-psychosis-spectrum disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1323-1330
Number of pages8
JournalDevelopment and psychopathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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