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PhD defence: Christina Bruun Knudsen

Neurocognitive development in children of parents with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder

Info about event

Time

Thursday 1 December 2022,  at 13:00 - 15:00

Location

Online via Zoom

On Thursday 1 December at 13:00, Christina Bruun Knudsen defends her PhD dissertation entitled "Neurocognition in children born to parents with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder - the development from 7 to 11 years of age".

Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are severe mental illnesses associated with cognitive impairments across a wide array of cognitive functions. Cognitive impairments are often present post-illness onset and also before illness onset. However, knowledge regarding early cognitive development during childhood is currently lacking. Children of parents with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder have an increased risk of developing the same disorder as their parents. We aimed to assess neurocognitive development from 7 to 11 years of age in a large cohort of Danish children born to parents diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder and controls.

In this PhD project, we found that cognitive development from 7 to 11 years of age was similar in children of parents with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder and controls. However, children of parents with schizophrenia displayed cognitive impairments early in childhood at age 7 that remained present and stable at age 11. Additionally, we found that cognitive function and development in children of parents with schizophrenia or bipolar was characterized by heterogeneity. Finally, we examined potential associations between cognitive functions and the subsequent development of psychotic experiences in childhood. In summary, the studies indicate that an increased focus on cognitive function and development during childhood in children of parents with severe mental illness is warranted.

The summary is written by the PhD student.

The defence is public and takes place online via Zoom (https://aarhusuniversity.zoom.us/j/62448088063). Please read the press release for more information.

Contact

PhD student Christina Bruun Knudsen

Mail: chrknd@rm.dk

Read full press release