Research Review: Do motor deficits during a child's development represent an early sign of increased risk for schizophrenia?

This is valuable research as it suggests that you may be able to identify children at increased risk of schizophrenia by how physically co-ordinated they are.

There are numerous simple tests in that can be done on children:


Motor deficits during development likely represent an behavioral symptom for schizophrenia, although its specificity is limited in relation to other serious mental disorders.

It holds promise as a low cost domain for early risk detection, although it will have to be combined with other indicators to achieve clinically usable prediction accuracy. Impaired coordination was the most robust result.



I had motor issues growing up (still do) and I remember reading about this connection to serious MI when I was studying psychology. This was before I got diagnosed with anything and while I was still functioning well, so I didn’t think much of it.

What do you mean exactly by “motor issues” - what did they mean for you? Did you see a doctor about the issues and did they say anything about them?

I was and am very clumsy, always bumping into things, had/have poor coordination, so physical education was difficult for me, and I had huge problems with learning and doing simple dance steps too.


Thanks for sharing.

Don’t mean to be a party pooper, but I always had great motor skills when I was young. Since my psychotic break not so much. But I used to do aerobics and was a competitor swimmer, football, handball and other sports. Only after my psychotic break I’ve experienced some weirdness in the way I run. I have to concentrate harder now for my skills to be flawless. It’s more difficult now.

But I was always bumping into things, that’s true.


I was awful, too. Comically clumsy, with bad handwriting, too, for a long time. Last to learn to swim, last to learn to ride a bike. Last to get picked in gym class.

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I was bad at physical education/ sports . Have relatively poor balance.Poor hand-eye co ordination .Never been diagnosed but fit the criteria for dyspraxia quite well.
At 6 was assessed to see if I was what was then called spastic . I was not .
Also had social interaction difficulties ,another marker for schizophrenia, but somehow only ended up with what might be called mild psychotic symptoms.

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I had handwriting lessons when I was 11-12 because mine was so poor. My handwriting is still poor especially when trying to write quickly. Was nearly 14 when I first learnt to ride a bike. I think my younger brother and sister were about 6 when they did.

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I tend to bump into doors, edges of furniture,walls quite a lot.

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We’re full of bruises!

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I finally learned to ride a bike when my parents threatened to give the one I had gotten for Christmas to my younger sister!

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…And You Shall Know Us By The Copious Bruising.


Me too, and it’s never improved

I was put in dance, but I wasn’t flexible even at a young age. It was hard for me, but now I can shake it shake it like I’m supposed to do.

@anon9798425 I never did dance lessons but would have been atrocious if I had done- poor sense of rhythm,poor timing ,limbs doing their own thing etc

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I was horrible at sports, but that may have been out of a lack of interest. Never found much appealing about football, baseball, hockey, etc. Boring. Now, archery, that’s different. I can outshoot all but one of the kids I coach, which is good. Means they pay attention. My co-ordination is also pretty good when driving as I can coordinate all four limbs with ease (steering, shifter, clutch, and brake).

Not sure what to make of this research.


I visited a mental hospital regularly for many years. I saw lots of folks come in with not only bruises and bandages but also with lost prosthetic devices and missing digits and every other kind of physical injury.


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Can’t imagine. That’s terrible.

I was impressed with a young male schizophrenic I met in the hospital who had one leg gone below the knee. He wasn’t wearing his artifical leg because it was “misplaced”.


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