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March 14, 1964

Physiological Findings in Schizophrenia

JAMA. 1964;187(11):871. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03060240079028

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To the Editor:—  I was dismayed to find a Journal editorial of Nov 2, 1963 (186:510) joining the chorus of misconceived etiological notions concerning physiological variations found in schizophrenic patients.Physiological differences found so far have either simply not been substantiated, or, if established, have been the secondary result of the schizophrenic condition; the result of peculiarities of diet, of long hospitalization, of the absence of exercise, of the presence of tremendous psychological stress, etc. As mentioned in the editorial, long-time prisoners under stress of appearing before the parole board showed the same increase in macroglobulins as the schizophrenics. Among other investigations, work done in recent years under Kety at the National Institute of Mental Health has shown that many hopeful physiological notions concerning schizophrenics (which had been highly touted in both the professional and the popular press) were actually artifacts.We must not stop looking for physiological factors,

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