Sustained Attention and Interference Control Among 7-Year-Old Children With a Familial High Risk of Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder—A Nationwide Observational Cohort Study

Biological Psychiatry Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, Elsevier, ISSN 2451-9022

Volume 3, 8, 2018

DOI:10.1016/j.bpsc.2018.04.012, Dimensions: pub.1104139752, PMID: 29909148,


Jepsen, Jens Richardt (1) (2) (4)
Hemager, Nicoline (1) (2) (3) (5)
Ellersgaard, Ditte (2) (3) (5)
Greve, Aja (2) (6)
Gantriis, Ditte (2) (6)
Mors, Ole (2) (6)
Nordentoft, Merete (2) (3) (5)

* Corresponding author



  1. (1) Child and Adolescent Mental Health Centre, Mental Health Services Capital Region, Research Unit, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark
  2. (2) Lundbeck Foundation, grid.452548.a
  3. (3) University of Copenhagen, grid.5254.6, KU
  4. (4) Centre for Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research and Centre for Clinical Intervention and Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research, Copenhagen University Hospital, Psychiatric Hospital Centre Glostrup, Glostrup, Denmark
  5. (5) Mental Health Centre Copenhagen, Copenhagen University Hospital, Mental Health Services Capital Region, Hellerup, Denmark
  6. (6) Aarhus University Hospital, grid.154185.c, Central Denmark Region
  7. (7) University of Bergen, grid.7914.b
  8. (8) University Hospital of Lausanne, grid.8515.9








BACKGROUND: Given the partially shared genetic liability between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, we aimed to assess whether 7-year-old children with a familial high risk of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder display specific deficits of sustained attention and interference control compared with each other and with control children. METHODS: An observational cohort was identified through Danish registries and consisted of 522 children 7 years of age with no, one, or two parents with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Control subjects were matched based on age, sex, and municipality. Sustained attention and interference control were assessed using Conners' Continuous Performance Test II and a modified Eriksen flanker task. Assessors were blinded to group membership of participants. The effect of higher genetic loading was not considered in the statistical models owing to low numbers. RESULTS: At 7 years of age, children with a familial high risk of schizophrenia displayed deficits of sustained attention and subtle deficits in interference control compared with control children and children with a familial high risk of bipolar disorder. Children with a familial high risk of bipolar disorder displayed similar abilities of sustained attention and interference control as control children except in terms of a lower accuracy. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest distinct neurodevelopmental characteristics in middle childhood of sustained attention and interference control for children of parents with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.


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Research area: Medicine

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Times Cited: 9

Field Citation Ratio (FCR): 7.2

Relative Citation ratio (RCR): 0.6