Jääskeläinen Erika

Longitudinal course and outcomes in schizophrenia - the Northern Finland Birth Cohorts 1986 and 1966

Group leader:  docent Erika Jääskeläinen

Background and significance

Schizophrenia is one of the most severe mental illnesses with an often unfavourable prognosis. We do not yet know the true, longitudinal course of schizophrenia. This study utilises two valuable, unselected, general population-based samples: The Northern Finland 1986 Birth Cohort (NFBC 1986) (N=9,478) and The Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort (NFBC 1966) (N=12,058). The aim of this project is to explore the longitudinal course and prognosis of schizophrenic psychoses from three perspectives:
1. Longitudinal course of illness in schizophrenia, 2. Clinical and neurobiological predictors of course of illness in schizophrenia, 3. Time trends in course of psychosis. By examining the course of illness in schizophrenia and the factors affecting it (especially in long-term), we may be better able to enhance the treatments we offer to our patients.

Future goals

The aim of this project is to explore the longitudinal course of illness and factors associating to that in two Northern Finland birth cohorts. In the future, aim is to focus especially on very long term course of illness (i.e. over 20 years of illness). The results have significance on treatment and etiology of schizophrenia. During the next years the aim is to publish the results in international psychiatric Journals and in doctoral theses. One aim is to increase international networking to research centers outside our current collaborators (Cambridge, UK; Queensland, Australia; Munic, Germany).

Research funding 

  • Sigrid Jusélius Foundation
  • Academy of Finland
  • Pohjois-Suomen terveydenhuollon tukisäätiö
  • Duodecim Oulu
  • NARSAD: Brain and Behaviour Research Fund
  • EVO-funding

Research group members

Post-doctoral researchers:

  • Marianne Haapea, PhD
  • Matti Penttilä, MD, PhD

PhD students:

  • Pauliina Juola, BMed
  • Irina Rannikko, Psychologist, MA
  • Anja Husa, MD
  • Pauliina Ruonala MHSc

Other junior scientists:

  • Salla Nykänen, BMed
  • Virpi Puska, BMed
  • Jussi-Pekka Tolonen, BMed

Other personnel:

  • Merja Kyllönen, BSc, statistician

Most important collaborators

  1. Peter Jones, University of Cambridge, UK
  2. Graham Murray, University of Cambridge, UK
  3. Jennifer Barnett, University of Cambridge, UK
  4. John McGrath, University of Queensland, Australia
  5. Jouko Miettunen, University of Oulu, Finland

Last updated: 2/10/2013