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Can J Psychiatry. 2003 Feb;48(1):34-9.

Evolutionary perspectives on schizophrenia.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3E 3N4. jpolime@cc.umanitoba.ca

Abstract

The theory of evolution may be relevant to psychiatric disorders. Evolution reflects changes in genes throughout time. Thus, evolutionary forces can shape any phenotype that is genetically rooted and that possesses a long history. Schizophrenia is likely an ancient condition with a substantial genetic component. Since the 1960s, several researchers have applied evolutionary principles to the study of schizophrenia. In general, schizophrenia is either viewed as an evolutionary advantageous condition or as a disadvantageous byproduct of normal brain evolution. This paper reviews major evolutionary explanations--historical and current--that speculate on the possible origins of schizophrenia.

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PMID:
12635562
DOI:
10.1177/070674370304800107
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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