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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Is there any chances of my child to get schizophrenic as my husband is already having it ?

my husband is schizophrenic and under medication right now, we have a child, is it possible for my child to inherit this kind of illness?
Tue, 12 Jul 2011
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Radiologist 's  Response
Hi!
Welcom healthcaremagic,com.Schizophrenia like many mental illnesses has a complex inheritance pattern.The rates range from 2%-15%.Please see a genetic counsellor for assessing the risk of your son .Take care.
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  User's Response
Hello,

I agree with my colleague regarding the complex inheritance pattern in schizophrenia. And yes, it is possible for your child to inherit the illness from your husband. However, I would advise caution against obtaining genetic counseling. Genetic counseling is useful BEFORE making a decision (such as deciding to marry or have a child). Knowing the risk before-hand allows one to make an informed choice. What purpose will such a test serve now?

Each and every one of us has a risk of schizophrenia. The risk in the 'normal' population is approximately 1% i.e. 1 in 100 people have a lifetime risk of suffering from schizophrenia. In your child's case, the risk is slightly higher as your husband has schizophrenia. However, no test will be able to tell you for sure whether or not your child will ever suffer from schizophrenia.

All of us also have a 100% risk of death! That does not mean we should spend all our life worrying about it. When it happens, it happens. Worrying about it will not improve anything.

My only advice to you would be to familiarize yourself with prodromal (i.e. early) symptoms of schizophrenia, so that if you notice those symptoms in your child you can approach a psychiatrist for help sooner.

Regards,

Dr. Saifuddin Kharawala
MBBS, DPM
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  User's Response
Hello again,

The important thing to remember is that the chances of your son NOT inheriting the illness are much higher (about 10 times higher) than the chances of him inheriting it.

I know it is easier said than done, but I hope you continue to focus on the current reality i.e. bringing up a healthy happy son.

Mark Twain had once famously remarked - "I have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened".

All the best.

Regards,
Dr. Saifuddin Kharawala
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