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May 26, 1969

The Transmission of Schizophrenia

JAMA. 1969;208(8):1496. doi:10.1001/jama.1969.03160080160042

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After years of relative neglect, schizophrenia is finally receiving research effort and money. However, the investigators are still uncertain how to define schizophrenia, and differ widely in their approach. Some seek the cause, others the cure. Some study statistics, some work in biochemical laboratories, some devise psychological tests; a few even observe patients and their families. Recently, the Foundations' Fund supported a conference at which investigators discussed the transmission of schizophrenia. The editors, who evidently planned the conference and selected the members, explain that they use the word "transmission" instead of "etiology" because the evidence to date "is concerned with how schizophrenic disorder is passed on to members of a family, class or culture, rather than with immediate and specific causes."

Seven papers are presented on genetics, including a critical review of the literature, three of twins, and a genealogic study in Iceland where genealogy could be traced for seven