Public Release: 

Repeated traumatic experiences throughout infancy multiplies by 7 the risk of psychosis

University of Granada

50 pairs of siblings (one of them suffered psychosis while the other didn't) participated in this research, published in the renowned Journal of Psychiatric Research magazine

A research carried out with participation of the University of Granada (UGR) proves that suffering repeated traumatic experiences throughout infancy and adolescence multiplies by 7 the risk of suffering psychosis during adulthood.

Additionally, having been a heavy cannabis user (that is, smoking five times a week or more) during infancy or adolescence multiplies said risk by 6. This possibility rises a 30% for each point gained in a personality trait called neuroticism or emotional instability (emotional instability and insecurity, high level of anxiety, constant state of worry and stress, etc.).

These three associations are independent of each other and of genre, age, or the patient's extroversion (another personality trait included in the so called Eysenck Personality Test, which the researchers used in their research).

A magazine with great impact

The research, recently published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research magazine (which has a great impact in the world of Psychiatry), has counted with the participation of researchers from the Fundación Jiménez Díaz foundation, the Autonomous University of Madrid (Spain), the University of Kansas (United States), London Institute of Psychiatry (United Kingdom), the University of Southampton (United Kingdom), the University of Granada (Spain), and the Institute of Biomedicine of Seville (Universitary Hospital Virgen del Rocío/CSIC/University of Seville, Spain).

Their work, done following a sophisticated statistical methodology, matched the characteristics of 50 patients from Granada and Jaén with recent onset psychotic illness, with the characteristics of their non-psychotic siblings.

Although other researches on this subject, carried out with samples extracted from the general population, have been published, "this work has the value of being the first one in being carried out in a clinical sample of psychotic and non-psychotic siblings, and it brings to light the need of the doctors to inquire into these precedents when evaluating their patients", Manuel Gurpegui and Jorge Cervilla, professors of Psychiatry at the UGR and co-authors of this research, explain.


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