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Neurobiologic Antecedents of Schizophrenia in Children:  Evidence for an Inherited, Congenital Neurointegrative Defect

Barbara Fish, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1977;34(11):1297-1313. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1977.01770230039002.
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• In chronic schizophrenics, disordered motor development in childhood is followed by more early cognitive and social impairment and poorer outcome; childhood schizophrenics represent the most extreme variants of this. Preschizophrenic infants show a fluctuating dysregulation of maturationm—or "pandevelopmental retardation" (PDR)m—that involves physical growth; gross motor, visual-motor, and cognitive development; proprioceptive and vestibular responses; muscle tone; and possibly arousal. Pandevelopmental retardation was significantly related to a genetic history for schizophrenia (<.05), but not to obstetric complications. The severity of PDR was significantly related to the severity of later psychiatric and cognitive disorder (<.01). Pandevelopmental retardation provides a "marker" in infancy for the inherited neurointegrative defect in schizophrenia. These disordered functions should be studied by anyone interested in the biology of the schizophrenic genotype or in specific early interventions for children at risk.


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