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Mental Illness in the Biological and Adoptive Families of Adopted Schizophrenics
SEYMOUR S. KETY; DAVID ROSENTHAL; PAUL H. WENDER; FINI SCHULSINGER
Am J Psychiatry 1971;128:302-306.
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Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Psychiatric Research Laboratories, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Mass. 02114

Chief of the Laboratory of Psychology, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md.

Research Psychiatrist, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md.

Director of the Psychiatric Service at the Kommunehospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark

1972, American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Adoption has been used as a means of separating genetic and environmental factors in the transmission of schizophrenia among family members. In the study reported here, a significantly higher than usual prevalence of schizophrenia-related illness was found among the biological relatives of adopted schizophrenics, but not among their adoptive relatives. The findings support a genetic transmission of vulnerability to schizophrenia, but also imply the requirement of nongenetic, environmental factors for the development of clinical schizophrenic illness.

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