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Trouble in Paradise

High schizophrenia rates among Pacific islanders raise cultural questions

10:24am, July 2, 2007

The Micronesian islands that form the Republic of Palau, situated about 500 miles east of the Philippines, boast the sun-washed beaches and lush greenery of a tropical paradise. But behind the picture-postcard scenery lurks a disturbing mental-health mystery. For some reason, Palau has one of the highest rates of schizophrenia in the world.

Although researchers routinely assume that this devastating fragmentation

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