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July 1, 2009

Flu Increases Risk For Schizophrenia

Contracting to flu during pregnancy may increase the risk of the offspring developing schizophrenia, according to a new study in Biological Psychiatry.

It is important to note that these results were dependent upon the type of influenza, with this association present only after fetal exposure to influenza B as opposed to influenza A. The findings from this study suggest that a genetic and/or an additional environmental factor associated with psychosis likely is necessary for the fetal brain to be vulnerable to the effects of influenza, given that decreases in cognitive performance were only observed in influenza-exposed children who developed a psychotic disorder in adulthood.

These finding point up the need for preventive flu vaccines before pregnancy and increased need for good hygiene during pregnancy to prevent contracting the influenza virus.

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Posted by linda at July 1, 2009 5:01 PM

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