Velocardiofacial syndrome, also known as 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS), is associated with an increased risk of major psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia. The emergence of psychotic symptoms in individuals with schizophrenia in the general population is often preceded by a premorbid period of poor or worsening social and/or academic functioning. Our current study evaluated premorbid adjustment (via the Cannon-Spoor Premorbid Adjustment Scale [PAS]) and psychotic symptoms (via the Structured Interview for Prodromal Symptoms and the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children - Present and Lifetime Version) in youth with 22q11DS (N = 96), unaffected siblings (N = 40), and community controls (N = 50). The PAS scores indicated greater maladjustment during all developmental periods in individuals with 22q11DS compared to the controls. Many participants with 22q11DS had chronically poor (n = 33) or deteriorating (n = 6) PAS scores. In 22q11DS, chronically poor PAS trajectories and poor childhood and early adolescence academic domain and total PAS scores significantly increased the risk of prodromal symptoms or overt psychosis. Taking into account the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) genotype, the best predictor of (prodromal) psychosis was the early adolescence academic domain score, which yielded higher sensitivity and specificity in the subgroup of youth with 22q11DS and the high-activity (valine) allele. PAS scores may help identify individuals at higher risk for psychosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health