We are pleased to respond to the criticism by Drs Abrams and Taylor of our recent report.1 They are dissatisfied with the way we have interpreted their 1975 criteria. In deriving our checklist,2 we were at pains to remove redundant items and to amalgamate items that were drawn from different criteria but that described closely similar phenomena. For example, we considered the items "incoherent speech" and "other evidence of formal thought disorder" to have adequately subsumed all the types of speech disorder listed by Taylor et al.3 Similarly, we stipulated the absence of coarse brain disease (and here we did include any physical disorder likely to produce an organic brain syndrome) as a necessary requirement to fulfill a diagnosis of schizophrenia for any set of criteria. Adding the absence of drug or alcohol abuse therefore gives exclusion criteria that are not substantially different from those described by
McGuffin P, Gottesman II, Murray RM, Reveley AM. The Appropriate Use of Criteria for Schizophrenia-Reply. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1985;42(4):423–424. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1985.01790270113016
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