Although the precise cause of schizophrenia isn't known, certain factors seem to increase the risk of developing or triggering schizophrenia, including:

  • Having a family history of schizophrenia
  • Exposure to viruses, toxins or malnutrition while in the womb
  • Abnormal activation of the immune system, such as from inflammation or autoimmune diseases
  • Older age of the father
  • Taking psychoactive drugs during teen years

Schizophrenia symptoms generally start in the late teens to the mid-30s. It's uncommon for children to be diagnosed with schizophrenia. Early-onset schizophrenia occurs in children younger than age 17. Very early-onset schizophrenia in children younger than age 13 is rare.

Feb. 28, 2014