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September 1951


Author Affiliations


From the Dight Institute for Human Genetics, University of Minnesota.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1951;66(3):272-279. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1951.02320090021002

THE ROLE of heredity in the etiology of manic-depressive psychosis has often been investigated, but the results have given rise to a variety of interpretations. A résumé of certain aspects of the knowledge about manic-depressive phychosis may clarify the genetic situation.

The scope of the problem can be outlined to some extent from the annual reports of the Bureau of the Census.1 The statistics indicate that for at least the past 25 yr. some 12,000 new patients with manic-depressive psychosis have been admitted to institutions for permanent care each year (Table 1), a total of about 300,000 new patients. This rather constant number of annual admissions represents a decrease in the proportion of persons with manic-depressive psychosis among the first admissions with psychosis. There appear to be at least two reasons for this change. The changing age structure of the general population has increased the number of persons living

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