B3477 - At the intersection of autism and psychosis An investigation of causal pathways developmental trajectories and phenotypic outc - 03/03/2020

B number: 
Principal applicant name: 
Dheeraj Rai | Centre of Academic Mental Health, University of Bristol (United Kingdom)
Miss Christina Dardani, Professor Stan Zammit, Dr Sarah Sullivan, Dr Hannah Jones
Title of project: 
At the intersection of autism and psychosis: An investigation of causal pathways, developmental trajectories and phenotypic outc
Proposal summary: 

Autism is a chronic condition, arising early in childhood and characterized by two main symptoms: difficulties in social communication/interactions and repetitive behaviours. Sometimes, people with autism also have psychotic illness (e.g. hearing voices or feeling paranoid). The reasons this happens is still unknown. There are several possible explanations:
a. Specific autism-related symptoms, such as repetitive behaviours and restricted interests, might be risk factors for developing psychosis later in life,
b. Genetics of autism might predispose the affected individuals to psychosis later in life,
c. Adverse life events, frequently occurring in people with autism, such as stigmatisation or bullying, might lead to psychosis.
We will investigate these explanations using genetic, clinic and questionnaire data from the ALSPAC cohort. Understanding the reasons why some people with autism develop psychosis is an important step towards developing appropriate prevention strategies and offer adequate psychosocial support to the affected individuals and their families.

Impact of research: 
Date proposal received: 
Monday, 2 March, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Tuesday, 3 March, 2020
Mental health - Psychology, Psychiatry, Cognition, Developmental disorders - autism, GWAS, Genetic epidemiology