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Schizophr Bull. 2001;27(1):1-18.

"Schizotaxia": clinical implications and new directions for research.

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  • 1Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.


We sought to show that (1) schizotaxia (Meehl's term for the predisposition to schizophrenia) is a clinically consequential condition, and (2) distinguishing it from schizotypal personality disorder may be useful from both clinical and scientific perspectives. We review the features of schizotaxia that may be relevant in clinical settings and discuss their implications for the diagnosis, psychosocial functioning, family intervention and treatment of people in schizophrenia families. Our review indicates that prior work finds some of the nonpsychotic and nonschizotypal relatives of schizophrenia patients to have a psychiatric syndrome characterized by negative symptoms, neuropsychological impairment, and psychosocial dysfunction. Following Meehl, we call this constellation of clinical and neurobiological features schizotaxia. The studies we review suggest it may be worthwhile to consider schizotaxia as a separate diagnostic class. Doing so would alert clinicians to a neurobehavioral syndrome not adequately covered by current diagnostic criteria and would motivate researchers to develop diagnostic and therapeutic approaches aimed at helping schizotaxic individuals and, perhaps, preventing the onset of schizophrenia.

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