Genetic disorders presenting as "schizophrenia". Karl Bonhoeffer's early view of the psychoses in the light of medical genetics

Hum Genet. 1983;65(1):1-10. doi: 10.1007/BF00285021.


There is overwhelming empirical evidence for the influence of genetic factors in the etiology of schizophrenic psychoses. An appreciable and still increasing number of exogenous factors have been known for decades that are capable of inducing psychoses that present as "schizophrenia" or are more or less similar to it. In this article, genetic disorders--chromosomal abnormalities and Mendelian diseases--are summarized that may be associated with such psychoses. These disorders frequently but not necessarily exhibit additional physical symptoms. Although the majority of schizophrenic psychoses can so far not be explained by exogenous factors or well-defined genetic disorders, the proportion of these etiologies among all cases may be higher than presumed so far, because they evade detection. Data from the literature are discussed in the light of Karl Bonhoeffer's early concept of exogenous reaction types and modern medical genetics.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Historical Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Germany
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / genetics
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / genetics
  • Psychotic Disorders / genetics
  • Psychotic Disorders / history*
  • Schizophrenia / genetics*
  • Schizophrenia / history

Personal name as subject

  • K Bonhoeffer