Impairments of motor function among children with a familial risk of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder at 7 years old in Denmark: an observational cohort study

The Lancet Psychiatry
23 March 2017

Birgitte Klee Burton, Anne A E Thorup, Jens Richardt Jepsen, Gry Poulsen, Ditte Ellersgaard, Katrine S Spang, Camilla Jerlang Christiani, Nicoline Hemager, Ditte Gantriis, Aja Greve, Ole Mors, Merete Nordentoft, Kerstin Jessica Plessen



Owing to the genetic overlap between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, we aimed to assess domain-specific motor aberrations and disorder specificity among 7-year-old children with a familial risk of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder by comparing children in familial risk groups with each other and with children not in these risk groups.


In the Danish High Risk and Resilience Study, we established a cohort of 7-year-old children with no, one, or two parents with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder in Denmark between Jan 1, 2013, and Jan 31, 2016. We matched children of parents diagnosed with schizophrenia to children of parents without schizophrenia on the basis of their home address, age, and sex. Even though we did not match children of parents with bipolar disorder directly to controls because of resource constraints, we only recruited children into the three groups who did not differ in terms of age, sex, and urbanicity. We investigated motor function in children using the Movement Assessment Battery for Children–Second Edition. Motor function raters were masked to participants’ clinical risk status during assessments. We assessed the effects of familial risk group in a mixed-model analysis with repeated measures with an unstructured variance component matrix.


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