Schizophrenia and Manic-Depressive Disorder: The Biological Roots of Mental Illness as Revealed by the Landmark Study of Identical Twins

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Are schizophrenia and manic-depressive disorder biological or the result of a traumatic upbringing? Are some people genetically destined to become schizophrenic? This book, the result of a landmark study, provides compelling evidence that both schizophrenia and manic-depressive disorder are biologically based diseases of the brain, unrelated to psychological influences. E. Fuller Torrey and his colleagues conducted the largest study ever of pairs of identical twins in which one suffered from schizophrenia or ...
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Overview

Are schizophrenia and manic-depressive disorder biological or the result of a traumatic upbringing? Are some people genetically destined to become schizophrenic? This book, the result of a landmark study, provides compelling evidence that both schizophrenia and manic-depressive disorder are biologically based diseases of the brain, unrelated to psychological influences. E. Fuller Torrey and his colleagues conducted the largest study ever of pairs of identical twins in which one suffered from schizophrenia or manic-depressive disorder and the other did not, and discovered that the former almost always have structural and functional changes in their brains. The researchers concluded that while these diseases have a genetic component, they are most likely triggered by an outside biological force, such as a virus, either in utero or in infancy. The book establishes for the first time that the disease may originate very early in life, even though symptoms don't appear until young adulthood. Moreover, the authors show that - contrary to prevailing wisdom - schizophrenia does not change a person's underlying personality. Weaving poignant psychological portraits of twins through the book, the authors show how these case studies support the research findings. Here is an important contribution to the ongoing debate over the origins of mental illness.

Based on study of identical twins/shows that these dis. have a genetic component triggered by envir.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Schizophrenia is now understood to be a biologically based condition, and previous studies have established that people with an identical twin who is schizophrenic are at high risk for developing the disease. The study Torrey is considering looks at identical twin pairs in which one sibling is schizophrenic and the other is not, in order to investigate other, nongenetic causes. The results indicate that the schizophrenic twin is more likely to have suffered injury as a fetus and newborn, although the picture is complicated and such factors are not universally present. The authors are to be applauded for presenting the material in a fashion that is comprehensible to the nonspecialist. But their book is too narrowly focused to be a necessary purchase for most public libraries, whose patrons' needs will be well served by one of Torrey's earlier books, Surviving Schizophrenia: A Family Manual HarperCollins, 1988. rev. ed.. The current title is recommended for academic libraries with programs or courses in clinical or abnormal psychology.-- Mary Ann Hughes, Neill P.L., Pullman, Wa.
Booknews
Reports the findings of a study conducted by psychiatrist Torrey and his colleagues of pairs of identical twins in which one suffered from schizophrenia or manic-depressive disorder and the other didn't. The researchers discovered that the former almost always have structural and functional changes in their brains. They conclude that while these diseases have a genetic component, they are most likely triggered by an outside biological force, such as a virus, either in utero or in infancy. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR booknews.com
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465017461
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 4/5/1994
  • Pages: 304

Table of Contents

About the Authors
Contributing Researchers
Preface
Acknowledgments
List of Tables
List of Illustrations and Figures
1 The Politics and Science of Twin Studies 1
2 Are Identical Twins Really Identical? 13
3 Methodology of the Study 25
4 When Does Schizophrenia Originate? 42
5 Are Individuals Who Develop Schizophrenia Different as Children? 79
6 Does Schizophrenia Change the Structure of the Brain? 102
7 Does Schizophrenia Change the Function of the Brain? 116
8 Does Schizophrenia Change the Underlying Personality? 144
9 When Both Twins Get Schizophrenia, Are Their Diseases Similar? 150
10 How Different Are Twins with Bipolar Disorder from Twins with Schizophrenia? 171
11 Triplets and Beyond 184
12 What Do Twin Studies Tell Us About the Causes of Schizophrenia? 198
Summary of Major Findings 210
Appendix A: Final Diagnostic Groups 214
Appendix B: Neuropsychological Examination 220
Appendix C: Neurological Examination 223
Appendix D: Personality Inventory for Children 226
Glossary 228
Bibliography 231
Index 262
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