Journal Article

A 39-Year Followup of the Genain Quadruplets

Allan F. Mirsky, Linas A. Bieliauskas, Louis M. French, Daniel P. van Kammen, Erik Jönsson and Göran Sedvall

in Schizophrenia Bulletin

Published on behalf of Maryland Psychiatric Research Center

Volume 26, issue 3, pages 699-708
Published in print January 2000 | ISSN: 0586-7614
Published online January 2000 | e-ISSN: 1745-1701 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.schbul.a033487
A 39-Year Followup of the Genain Quadruplets

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The Genains, a unique group of monozygotic female quadruplets, all developed a schizophrenic disorder by age 24. They have been studied since the 1950s, because of the rarity of this occurrence (estimated to be one in 1.5 billion) and because their illnesses varied in severity. The identical inheritance would tend to rule out genetic differences as the cause of the neuropsychological differences; however, we cannot disentangle the effects of early brain injury and harsh punitive treatment as factors accounting for the differences in the severity of their disorders. We conducted neuropsychological examinations of the Genains at age 66, compared their test profiles, and contrasted certain test scores at 66 with those at ages 27 and 51. Test results indicate generally stable (or even improved) performance over time and support the notion that cognitive decline is not a degenerative process in schizophrenia. The Genains remind us of the exquisite interaction among variables that must be understood before additional, satisfactory progress can be made in preventing the development and predicting the course of schizophrenia.

Keywords: Schizophrenia; neuropsychology; multiple births; aging

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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