University of Oulu

Filatova, S., Koivumaa-Honkanen, H., Hirvonen, N., Freeman, A., Ivandic, I., Hurtig, T., Khandaker, G., Jones, P., Moilanen, K., Miettunen, J. (2017) Early motor developmental milestones and schizophrenia: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Schizophrenia Research, 188 (), 13-20. doi:10.1016/j.schres.2017.01.029

Early motor developmental milestones and schizophrenia : a systematic review and meta-analysis

Saved in:
Author: Filatova, S1,2; Koivumaa-Honkanen, H3,4; Hirvonen, N5;
Organizations: 1Center for Life Course Health Research, University of Oulu
2Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu
3Institute of Clinical Medicine (Psychiatry), University of Eastern Finland
4Departments of Psychiatry, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, South-Savonia Hospital District, Mikkeli, North Karelia Central Hospital, Joensuu, SOSTERI, Savonlinna, SOTE, Iisalmi, Lapland Central Hospital, Rovaniemi
5Information Studies, Faculty of Humanities, University of Oulu
6Klinik und Poliklinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie der Universität, Leipzig
7Department of Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology – IBE, Chair for Public Health and Health Services Research, Research Unit for Biopsychosocial Health, LMU Munich
8Neuroscience Research Unit, University of Oulu
9PEDEGO Research Unit, Child Psychiatry, University of Oulu
10Clinic of Child Psychiatry, University Hospital of Oulu
11Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge
12Department of Psychiatry, Oulu University Hospital
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2017
Publish Date: 2018-03-27


The neurodevelopmental hypothesis of schizophrenia proposes that impaired brain development is a cause of the illness. Early motor developmental milestones, such as learning to walk, are predictors of later schizophrenia but studies have not been systematically reviewed. The aim of the present systematic review and meta-analysis was to explore the association between early motor developmental milestones and the risk of adult schizophrenia. In addition, we updated a systematic review on motor function and risk of schizophrenia.

The PubMed, PsycINFO and Scopus databases were searched for original research articles published up to July 2015. Motor milestones were measured between ages 0 and 13 years. Random effect meta-analysis calculated effect estimates (Hedges’ g) for the association between individual motor milestones and schizophrenia risk. An electronic database and selected articles reference list search identified 5990 articles after removing duplicates. Sixty-nine full text articles were assessed for eligibility of which six were included in the review. Five studies provided sufficient data for meta-analyses.

The following motor milestones were significantly associated with adult schizophrenia risk: walking unsupported (g = 0.46; 95% CI 0.27–0.64; p < 0.001), standing unsupported (g = 0.28; 0.16–0.40; p < 0.001) and sitting unsupported (g = 0.18; 0.05–0.31; p = 0.007). Results for the milestones ‘holding head up’ and ‘grabbing object’ were not statistically significant. Delayed walking, sitting and standing unsupported were associated with adult onset schizophrenia. The findings emphasise the importance of timely achievement of these motor milestones in childhood and can contribute to the identification of individuals at risk of psychosis.

see all

Series: Schizophrenia research
ISSN: 0920-9964
ISSN-E: 1573-2509
ISSN-L: 0920-9964
Volume: 188
Pages: 13 - 20
DOI: 10.1016/j.schres.2017.01.029
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 3124 Neurology and psychiatry
Funding: This work is supported by funding from the People Programme (Marie Curie Actions) of the European Union Seventh Framework Programme's FP7/2007 – 2013 under REA grant agreement no. 316795 and the Academy of Finland (#303696).
EU Grant Number: (316795) MARATONE - Mental Health Training through Research Network in Europe
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 303696
Detailed Information: 303696 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (