Northwestern Events Calendar


Dr. Elaine F Walker - Emory University - Psychosis: The origins of vulnerability and the developmental course.

When: Friday, June 3, 2022
3:15 PM - 4:15 PM CT

Where: Online

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Tomeka Bolar  

Group: Department of Psychology

Category: Academic


Psychosis: The origins of vulnerability and the developmental course.


Abstract: After decades of seeking to identify the specific gene or cognitive deficit that confers risk for psychosis, scientists’ conceptualizations of the origins of vulnerability have become more nuanced and complex in recent decades.  In this presentation, some of our recent findings on the transdiagnostic trajectories in genetic high-risk and (GHR) and clinical high-risk (CHR) youth will be described.   22q11 deletion syndrome (DS) and 3q29 DS are copy number variations (mutations) that dramatically increase risk for a range of psychiatric disorders, including psychosis.  Characterizing the genotype and behavioral phenotype of these GHR individuals has shed light on some of the likely neurobiological pathways to psychosis.  GHR youth manifest a developmental course of nonpsychotic syndromes and attenuated psychotic syndromes that parallels the trajectories of many CHR youth who transition to clinical psychosis.  MRI reveals that CHR and GHR individuals also have some brain abnormalities, including in the cerebellum, that are shared with patients diagnosed with clinical psychosis.  The implications of these and other findings for understanding the transdiagnostic nature of genetic and environmental risk for serious mental illnesses will be discussed.


Via Zoom

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