Mental illness runs in families. A family history of mental illness is the most important known risk factor for the development of mental health problems. Up to 50% of children with a mentally-ill parent will develop a mental disorder in his/her life course, suggesting a transfer of disease risk from affected parent to offspring. Child, adolescent and young adult offspring of parents with a severe mental illness (i.e. schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression) offer a unique opportunity to further the research into intergenerational transmission, as in this group the likelihood of mental health problems is increased.

Understanding and predicting intergenerational transmission of risk requires reliable quantitative and qualitative information in parents and their offspring, such as clinical, behavioural, environmental, but also biological factors (eg. parental and offspring structural and functional brain networks or genetic risk scores). The Dutch Bipolar and Schizophrenia offspring study (DBSOS), in Dutch called BRIDGE: BRain Imaging, Development and GEnetics, is an ongoing prospective cohort study, investigating brain development, genetics, cognitive functioning, and environment, to identify factors that contribute to risk and resilience in offspring with at least one parent with schizophrenia and offspring with at least one parent with bipolar disorder, compared to offspring with parents without severe mental illness.

BRIDGE is led by Prof. dr. Manon Hillegers and Prof. dr. Neeltje van Haren at the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry/Psychology department at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam. 

You can contact us via email: