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Can Autoimmune Mechanisms Account for the Genetic Predisposition to Schizophrenia?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

John Knight*
Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Otago Medical School, PO Box 913, Dunedin, New Zealand
Allison Knight
Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Otago Medical School, PO Box 913, Dunedin, New Zealand
Gabor Ungvari
Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Otago Medical School, PO Box 913, Dunedin, New Zealand


Applications of molecular genetic techniques to schizophrenia have shown great initial promise but have then proved disappointing. In order to maximise chances of elucidating the genetic mechanism underlying schizophrenia, diverse strategies and diverse perspectives must be adopted. Most studies begin with the premise that, although schizophrenia may be a heterogeneous collection of diseases, some subtypes will be primarily single-gene disorders. We are concerned that this single-gene hypothesis may be incorrect. Schizophrenia research may benefit from application of knowledge from other disciplines and from other diseases which, in terms of epidemiology and apparent genetic mechanisms, bear some resemblance to schizophrenia.

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Copyright © Royal College of Psychiatrists, 1992 

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