, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 287-297

Early childhood psychosis and bleeding during pregnancy

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Children with infantile autism and childhood psychosis were identified in the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke Collaborative Perinatal Study. They were matched with two control groups, one of normal-IQ and the other of low-IQ children. Perinatal data, which had been collected prospectively, were then rated blindly. The relationship between uterine bleeding in mothers and their subsequently delivered children, who developed the syndromes of autism and childhood psychosis, was found to be significant. Mid-trimester bleeding was especially prevalent. The bleeding was usually minor and was not considered to be clinically significant at the time of occurrence. The results tend to corroborate 12 previously published retrospective reports indicating more perinatal complications in children who develop autism and childhood psychosis.

We are indebted to Joseph S. Drage, M.D., Chief, Perinatal Research Branch, National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke, and his staff for their kind help, and to Dr. Earl Pollack and Barbara Boyle Torrey for statistical assistance.