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December 1959

Vestibular Dysfunction in Childhood Schizophrenia

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles
Departments of Psychiatry and Medicine (Neurology), University of California at Los Angeles Medical Center, and Children’s Unit, Camarillo State Hospital, Camarillo, Calif.
Presented at the meeting of the Los Angeles Society of Neurology and Psychiatry, March, 1959.

AMA Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1959;1(6):600-617. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1959.03590060062006

Studies by various workers over the last several decades have established the existence of many physiological changes in adult schizophrenia.1-4 It has not been demonstrated that these changes are primary, however, or that they are of prognostic value.

In this study we have investigated vestibular functioning in schizophrenic children. This area was chosen for several reasons.

First, hyporeactivity and paradoxical vestibular reactions were reported in adult schizophrenics by Angyal.5 In commenting on that study, Paul Schilder seemed convinced that organic changes in vestibular functioning were present in some adult schizophrenics.6

Second, there is a good deal of presumptive evidence that childhood schizophrenics have some problem in the area of vestibular functioning. Loretta Bender7 has demonstrated space, time, and motion preoccupation in some schizophrenic children. A more recent study8 has confirmed this. The importance of spontaneous whirling and toe

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