It's not known what causes childhood schizophrenia, but it's thought that it develops in the same way as adult schizophrenia does. It's not clear why schizophrenia starts so early in life for some and not others.

Childhood schizophrenia and other forms of schizophrenia are brain disorders. Genetics and environment likely both play a role in causing schizophrenia.

Problems with certain naturally occurring brain chemicals called neurotransmitters may contribute to childhood schizophrenia. Imaging studies show differences in the brain structure of people with schizophrenia, but the significance of these changes isn't clear.

Feb. 28, 2014