Health: The Flu Connection

Does prenatal exposure to influenza raise the risk of schizophrenia?

Doctors still don't know what exactly causes schizophrenia, a devastating mental illness characterized by extremely disordered thinking. They're pretty sure that some kind of genetic predisposition is at work. But they also suspect that environmental triggers--particularly at critical moments during the brain's development before birth--play a role. That's why the results of a study published last week in the Archives of General Psychiatry are so intriguing. For the first time, researchers have direct evidence that exposure to influenza in utero is tied to a greater likelihood that an individual will someday develop schizophrenia.

That doesn't mean that the link between...

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