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Competing etiological models make opposite predictions as to the relationship between focal neurological abnormalities in schizophrenics and the prevalence of psychosis in their families. In previous studies of neurological abnormalities in schizophrenia, the authors found an increased prevalence of focal neurological signs in both patients and their nonschizophrenic relatives. The current study examines the relationship between neurological abnormalities in 24 schizophrenic patients and psychopathology in their families. A family history of psychotic psychopathology was found to be associated with an increased prevalence of focal neurological abnormalities in the schizophrenics. The results are relevant to current models of the potential role of neurological factors in the etiology of schizophrenia and illustrate how family studies of the joint distribution of psychiatric and neurological data can potentially help to distinguish between different etiological models.
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Received in revised form: July 18, 1986
Received: April 17, 1986We particularly thank Seymour S. Kety, M.D., Steven Matthysse, Ph.D., and Christine Waternaux, Ph.D., for their encouragement and advice on research design and/or statistical analysis. Ruth Richards, M.D., Ph.D., Stephanie Adler, Ph.D., Carol Kauffman, Ph.D., Sandra Cole, M.Ed., Dena Kaplan M.Ed., and Maria Benet assisted in contacting subjects and collecting data. We owe a special debt of gratitude to Drs. Raymond Adams, Edward Kolodny, Eileen Oulette, Ira Lott, and Peter Riskind, who examined many of the patients, and to Drs. Robert Brown and Flint Beal, who screened neurological reports. The McLean Hospital MHCRC helped support the recruitment of subjects and analysis of data. Finally, we thank the many mental health professionals who helped us in contacting subjects, and the patients and their families who generously participated in this study.
☆Supported in part by NIMH Small Grant MH37167; BRSG Grant RR05484 from Division of Research Resources, NIH; and the Benevolent Foundation of the Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction.
© 1987 Published by Elsevier Inc.