December 1963

Abnormal Leukocytes in Schizophrenia

Author Affiliations

Departments of Psychiatry and Medicine, University of California School of Medicine, and The Langley Porter Neuropsychiatric Institute.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1963;9(6):601-613. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1963.01720180073010

The purposes of the present paper are: (1) to confirm the finding of abnormal circulating leukocytes in schizophrenic patients; (2) to show their finer cytological details; and (3) to discuss the effect of the finding of these abnormal cells upon our concepts of the etiology of mental disease.

The search for a cellular abnormality in the blood or tissues of psychiatric patients is almost as old as the microscope itself. Already in 1844 Andral1 had described low red blood cell counts in some neurotic patients and stated that "... even in the neuroses the study of the state of the blood may be important." Fifty years ago, in 1914, Itten46 reported an increase in lymphocyte count in schizophrenia and reviewed a considerable literature concerning the white cells in schizophrenia. He noted improvement when the lymphocyte count fell.

Recent reports have described morphological abnormalities

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