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The differential diagnosis of early schizophrenia Lipinski, Beatrice Grace

Abstract

The object of this study was to investigate the adequacy of a test battery for the differential diagnosis of early schizophrenia. A test battery consisting of a physiological test of autonomic nervous system reactivity, psychological tests of abstract-concrete attitude and the Sc (schizophrenia) scale of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory was administered to an experimental group of 50 early schizophrenics and a control group of 50 patients suffering a functional disorder other than schizophrenia. Each subject of both groups was on his (her) first admission to a psychiatric institution. The groups were matched on the basis of age, sex and IQ. The test battery was found to statistically differentiate the two groups at the 2 per cent level and beyond, indicating that the test battery is adequate for differential diagnosis of early schizophrenia. No relationship was established for the expected correlation between autonomic nervous system hyporeactivity, impairment on tests of abstract-concrete attitude and an abnormal trend in the schizoid direction as measured by the Sc scale of the MMPI. It had been suggested that associative and affective functions in schizophrenia are impaired in a related fashion. The hypothesis that combination of loss of abstraction ability, schizoid personality trend and physiological phenomenon interpreted as "release" of the autonomic nervous system from higher (cortical) control was not confirmed.

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