The age of your father when you are born may affect your risk of schizophrenia. Researchers in Denmark found an increased risk of schizophrenia associated with advanced paternal age, particularly in females.
Schizophrenia is a serious brain disorder that distorts the way a person thinks, acts, expresses emotions, perceives reality and relates to others. It is a life-long disease that cannot be cured, but usually can be controlled with proper treatment.
Investigators studied data from 7,704 patients diagnosed with schizophrenia. They found an increased risk for the mental disorder in females born to fathers ages 50 or older and an increased risk for males born to fathers ages 55 or older. Researchers found the same link whether the offspring had a family history of schizophrenia or not.
These findings lend support to the theory that de novo mutations, possibly linked to the X chromosome and associated with increased parental age, may be responsible for some cases of schizophrenia. The X chromosome contains many genes expressed in the central nervous system and the gene for many diseases with cognitive impairment. Another possible explanation for the link is the adverse psychological effects of losing a parent due to the parent's increased age.