Environment and Inheritance: Opposing Forces?

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Abstract

High risk of schizophrenia requires high genetic predisposition to develop schizophrenia, plus an environmental trigger. A schizophrenic family environment is commonly believed to represent this trigger. The hypothesis is presented here that, on the contrary, a high predisposition to schizophrenia in significant others protects against overt illness. The trigger may be the predominance around the index individual of significant others with low predisposition to develop schizophrenia.

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