looseness of association
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looseness of association (LOA)
Etymology: ME, lous, not fastened
(in psychiatry) a disturbance of thinking in which the association of ideas and thought patterns becomes so vague, fragmented, diffuse, and unfocused as to lack any logical sequences or relationship to any preceding concepts or themes. It is a symptom of schizophrenia. When severe, speech may be incoherent. Also called associative looseness, loosening.