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There is evidence to suggest that among young people with mild intellectual disability there are those whose cognitive difficulties may predict the subsequent manifestation of a schizophrenic phenotype. It is suggested that they may be detectable by simple means.
To gain adequate cooperation from educational services, parents and students so as to recruit a sufficiently large sample to test the above hypothesis, and to examine the hypothesis in the light of the findings.
The sample was screened with appropriate instruments, and groups hypothesised as being likely or not likely to have the phenotype were compared in terms of psychopathology and neuropsychology.
Simple screening methods detect a sample whose psychopathological and neuropsychological profile is consistent with an extended phenotype of schizophrenia.
Difficulties experienced by some young people with mild and borderline intellectual disability are associated with enhanced liability to schizophrenia. Clinical methods can both identify those with this extended phenotype and predict those in whom psychosis will occur.
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