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To the Editor:
—Dr. Nathan S. Kline seems to indicate, in response to a question regarding the diagnosis of mental retardation and schizophrenia in 4-yr-old twins, that schizophrenia results in mental retardation in such cases (JAMA183:230 [Jan 19] 1963). I would like to point out that both diagnoses may coexist but are not necessarily mutually causative, either way. A schizophrenic child may show impaired mental functioning on psychological testing, but this does not make him a mental defective. I have even coined the word "dysmentia" to designate that form of pseudo-retardation which, as shown by mental testing, may be and is caused by emotional deprivation, especially at an early age.If we are to advance in the field of child psychiatry, a sharper delineation of diagnostic terms must be a sine qua non for such progress.This comment was referred to the consultant who answered the question, and
Klein IJ. Mental Retardation and Schizophrenia. JAMA. 1963;184(2):163. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03700150117032