Dermatoglyphics Of Schizophrenics
The most prevalent mental illness in the modern world is schizophrenia. About one fourth of the total patients admitted each year to public mental hospitals are diagnosed as schizophrenics. The illness usually involves young adults and can produce severe disability during the potentially most creative and productive years of a person?s life. the research on its aetiology and genetics is regarded to be very significant by the present day psychiatrists. Studies indicate that heredity is the basic factor in determining predisposition of schizophrenia. Though a full explanation of the causes of schizophrenic syndrome eludes researchers, yet several pieces of information are well developed and much is now known about the risk factors in the syndrome. Dermatoglyphics ? the study of configurational designs on the fingers, palms and soles of an individual ? in the recent years has emerged as an important tool in the hands of Physical Anthropologists to study populations. Its utility as a diagnostic parameter however, is not fully recognised, except in a few genetic disorders, where chromosomal anomalies are involved. Review of the studies available indicated to the author that there are significant differences among the schizophrenic patients and the normal population with reference to some dermatoglyphics features. However, there have been wide variations in what was found significant in different studies. Having realised the lacunae in the earlier studies, the researcher undertook this work with the aim and objectives of exploring, whether there really exists any association between dermatoglyphic parameters and schizophrenia; whether subtypes of schizophrenia can be categorised on the basis of dermatoglyphic variables; and finally, whether dermatoglyphics could be used in the diagnosis of schizophrenia.
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