There is widespread consensus that schizophrenia is a syndrome marked by neurodevelopmental abnormalities of brain structure and function. New research strives to identify more specific markers of pathophysiological processes, and to determine the timing at which different pathological features emerge. Progress has been made in identifying the risks posed by early environmental insults, and distinguishing these from familial (and presumably genetic) risks. The focus of research has moved progressively back in the course of the illness to find early characteristics that may enable the prediction of subsequent illness, and thereby foster the development of earlier interventions. Finally, the field seems to be witnessing a revival of theoretical speculation, with several new syntheses of existing literature pointing to new hypotheses about pathophysiology in a neurodevelopmental context.
Center for Advanced Brain Imaging, Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Orangeburg, New York, USA; and Hillside Hospital Division of North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System, Glen Oaks, New York, USA
Correspondence to Dr Robert Bilder, PhD, ABPP, Center for Advanced Brain Imaging, Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Orangeburg, New York 10962, USA. Tel: +1 845 398 5471; fax: +1 845 398 5472; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org