News

From Famine, Schizophrenia: Starvation gives birth to personality disorder

By
10:14am, August 3, 2005

Women who go severely hungry during early pregnancy face twice the normal risk of having a child who develops schizophrenia in adulthood, shows a study of the prevalence of the personality disorder among people who were born in China before, during, and after a 2-year famine that began in 1959.

The results confirm observations from a famine in Holland during the winter of 1944–1945. The high rate of schizophrenia associated with the Dutch famine, caused by a Nazi blockade, could have been explained by food shortage or other factors. For example, many starving Dutch people ate tulip bulbs, which might contain some neurotoxin.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.

More from Science News