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Schizophr Res. 1988 Jan-Feb;1(1):73-7.

Schizophrenic births and viral diseases in two states.

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National Institute of Mental Health, William A. White Research Division, Saint Elizabeths Hospital, Washington, DC 20032.


In order to investigate a possible relationship between schizophrenic births and viral diseases, the birth month and year of all state hospital admissions for schizophrenia in Connecticut and Massachusetts from 1973-1974 were compared with the occurrence of reportable viral diseases for 1920-1955. Data was statistically examined by time series using spectral analysis. Statistically significant coherences were found between schizophrenic births and measles (both states), varicella-zoster (Connecticut) and polio (Connecticut). Influenza just missed statistical significance. No temporal relationship between schizophrenic births and rubella or mumps was found. The results are compared with similar studies in Minnesota and Finland. Definitive explanations for the observed relationships are precluded by the emerging complexity of virus-CNS interactions. A triggering of immune dysfunction by the infectious agents is proposed as the most reasonable explanation.

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