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the relative importance of genetic and environmental factors in the aetiology of schizophrenia Graeme Gordon poor Ophelia divided from herself and her fair judgement without the which we arepictures or mere beasts Shakespeare Hamlet The term schizophrenia a splitting of psychic function Strange 1992 was first introduced in 1911 by Eugen Bleuler to denote the breakdown of integration between emotions thought and actions The symptoms of this disease are heterogeneous and there is still disagreement about diagnosis The annual incidence of schizophrenia is between 01 and 05 per 1000 depending on the diagnostic criteria used - representing a lifetime risk of 1 per cent Strange 1992 Onset of the disease is most commonly in late adolescence or early adulthood In the USA schizophrenia fills more beds than almost any other illness and the financial cost of schizophrenia due to direct medical costs lost productivity and Social Security pensions is between 30 billion and 48 billion according to Federal figures American Pychological Association APA 1996 There are many theories about the aetiology of schizophrenia but research has failed to pinpoint the origins There is evidence that environmental pathogens for example viruses are involved in the causation of schizophrenia There
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