Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Schizophrenia

Constellation of similar disorders characterized by a debilitating los of the ability to organize thoughts and perceptions, and that leads to inappropriate behaviors and a withdrawal from reality. An increased probability of recurrence among close relatives and high concordance between identical twins suggests a genetic component of large magnitude. Schizophrenia is possibly a genetically heterogenous, multifactorial and/or polygenic presentation. Alternatively, schizophrenia has been suggested to be due completely to environmental agents, caused, for example, by maternal influenza during the second trimester, when fetal brain cells are undergoing rapid hyperplasic growth and are susceptible to the effects of such a virus.

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