Trends and interactions of risk factors in psychotic disorders – Northern Finland Birth Cohort studies 1966 and 1986

Group leader
Professor Jouko Miettunen

Background and significance

Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders are a major public health problem and leading unsolved disease afflicting about 3-4 % of the population. In Finland, the prevalence of any psychotic disorder is even higher; 4.5 %. Schizophrenia is a complex genetic disorder manifesting combined environmental and genetic causation. To date, the candidate risk factors include e.g. advanced paternal age, obstetric complications, cannabis use, motor dysfunction, urbanicity, and low IQ. Data from Northern Finland birth cohorts have underpinned many of these key findings.

Future goals

The Northern Finland birth cohorts offer unique possibilities to study time trends and interactions in risk factors for psychoses in comparable samples. The studies utilizing the longitudinal design and unselected sample are likely to produce new information on the risk factors of psychotic disorders.

Research funding 

  • Academy of Finland
  • Pohjois-Suomen terveydenhoidon tukisäätiö
  • Sigrid Jusélius Foundation
  • NARSAD: Brain and Behaviour Research Fund
  • Jalmari and Rauha Ahokas Foundation
  • EVO-funding

Research group members

Post-doctoral researchers:

  • Kristiina Moilanen, MD, PhD
  • Nina Rautio, PhD
  • Tanja Nordström, PhD
  • Mika Niemelä, PhD

PhD students:

  • Lotta Kinnunen, MD
  • Juha Käkelä, MD
  • Sanna Huhtaniska, MD
  • Svetlana Filatova, MMSc
  • Tiina-Mari Keski-Ojala, BMed
  • Eetu Oinas, Bmed
  • Daniel Vladimirov, BMed
  • Antti Mustonen, BMed
  • Meri Lassila, BMed

Other personnel:

  • Heli Lehtiniemi, MSc, statistician

Most important collaborators

  • Erika Jääskeläinen, University of Oulu, Finland
  • Peter Jones, University of Cambridge, UK
  • Graham Murray, University of Cambridge, UK
  • John McGrath, University of Queensland, Australia
  • Solja Niemelä, University of Oulu, Finland

Last updated: 31.10.2018