An earlier Finnish cohort study suggested that childhood viral CNS infections are associated with a fivefold increased odds of developing schizophrenia in adulthood. The authors sought to replicate this finding.
From the archives of the Department of Virology of the National Public Health Institute in Finland, 320 individuals born between 1960 and 1976 who had suffered virologically confirmed CNS infections before their 15th birthdays were identified. Of the infections, 202 had been caused by enteroviruses. The sample was followed up in the 1969-2000 records of the National Hospital Discharge Register of Finland to identify all cases of schizophrenia that emerged.
The cumulative incidence of schizophrenia was 0.94% in the whole sample and 0.99% among individuals who had suffered enteroviral infections. These rates are comparable to that found in the general population.
Childhood viral CNS infections were not associated with increased risk of schizophrenia.