November 1988

Neurodevelopmental Model of Schizophrenia-Reply

Author Affiliations

Clinical Brain Disorders Branch Intramural Research Program National Institute of Mental Health Neurosciences Center at St Elizabeths Washington, DC 20032

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1988;45(11):1053-1054. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1988.01800350087016

—Several interesting comments about the neurodevelopmental model of schizophrenia that I presented have been raised in the above letters.

I agree with Dr King's impression that the neurodevelopmental model discussed for adult-onset schizophrenia does not readily lend itself to childhood cases. However, even in adult-onset central nervous system disorders of better-known cause (eg, Huntington's disease), the existence of childhood cases is not easily understood. Dr King enumerates some of the critical questions for childhood schizophrenia: is it a matter of the severity of the pathologic process, of genetic load, of biologic and/or nonbiologic compensatory factors, or is it a different illness? There are few scientific data at the present time to guide further speculation about these questions. His assertion that the "coming of age" of neural systems implicated in schizophrenia is not a necessary prerequisite for the development of the syndrome may be true, but maturation is probably not

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