Original ArticleThe Significance of Family History in First-Episode Schizophrenia Spectrum DisorderNorman, Ross M. G. PhD*; Manchanda, Rahul MD, FRCPC*; Malla, Ashok K. MBBS, FRCPC†; Harricharan, Raj MD, FRCPC*; Northcott, Sandra MD, FRCPC* Author Information *University of Western Ontario and Prevention and Early Intervention Program for Psychosis, London, Ontario, Canada; and †McGill University and Prevention and Early Intervention Program for Psychosis, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Supported by the Canadian Institute of Health Research (Grant No. 57925). Send reprint requests to Ross M. G. Norman, PhD, Room 114A, WMCH Building, 392 South Street, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 4G5. E-mail: [email protected]. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: October 2007 - Volume 195 - Issue 10 - p 846-852 doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e318156f8e2 Buy Metrics Abstract There have been inconsistent findings regarding the significance of family history of schizophrenia spectrum disorders in relation to presentation and course of illness. There has been little research relevant to this issue from first-episode patients. We examined the differences in premorbid adjustment, symptoms, and intellectual functioning between 28 first-episode schizophrenia spectrum patients with a history of such illness in first degree relatives and 28 matched patients without such a family history. The results indicate that whereas the 2 groups did not differ in presenting symptoms, those with a positive family history showed poorer intellectual functioning and less reduction in symptoms at 2 and 3 year follow-up and greater likelihood of abnormal electroencephalogram findings. The findings provide evidence that presence of a positive family history in first-episode patients is associated with a more pernicious form of illness. © 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.