Schizophrenia and Psychotic Syndromes

Schizophrenia and Related Psychotic Disorders Are Chronic and Often Disabling

Author: European College of Neuropsychopharmacology
Published: 2010/08/29 - Updated: 2023/05/14 - Peer-Reviewed: Yes
Contents: Summary - Definition - Introduction - Main - Related

Synopsis: Schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders are a chronic and often disabling condition. The diagnosis of schizophrenia is associated with demonstrable alterations in brain structure and changes in neurotransmission, with increased dopamine action being directly related to typical positive symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions. Around 2-3% of adolescents and young adults will develop a psychotic disorder. Many will experience successive episodes throughout their lives, with the progressive deterioration that leaves them persistently symptomatic and functionally impaired.

Introduction

Schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders are chronic and often disabling. Despite modern treatment techniques, they still present an enormous burden to the patients and their relatives and take a serious toll on human suffering and societal expenditure.

Main Digest

The diagnosis of schizophrenia is associated with demonstrable alterations in brain structure and changes in neurotransmission, with increased dopamine action being directly related to typical positive symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions.

Negative symptoms include restricted range and intensity of emotional expression, reduced thought and speech, and social withdrawal.

In general, schizophrenia presents a bewildering complexity of symptoms in multiple domains in great heterogeneity and variability within individuals over time.

Psychotic symptoms typically emerge in adolescence and early adulthood, although late-onset cases (in patients aged over 40 years) have been identified.

Around 2-3% of adolescents and young adults will develop a psychotic disorder. Many will experience successive episodes throughout their lives, with the progressive deterioration that leaves them persistently symptomatic and functionally impaired.

In most industrialized countries 1-2 years pass before adequate treatment is initiated.

Research indicates that delayed access to health services and treatment is associated with slower or less complete recovery and increased risk of relapse in the subsequent two years (Falkai et al., 2005).

Even today, psychotic disorders remain highly stigmatized, and despite the young age of the patients and the long-term service dependence often are not prioritized in the public health plan.

Reference:

Falkai P, Wobrock T, Lieberman J, et al. World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP) Guidelines for Biological Treatment of Schizophrenia. The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry 2005;6:132-191

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This peer reviewed publication titled Schizophrenia and Psychotic Syndromes was selected for publishing by Disabled World's editors due to its relevance to the disability community. While the content may have been edited for style, clarity, or brevity, it was originally authored by European College of Neuropsychopharmacology and published 2010/08/29 (Edit Update: 2023/05/14). For further details or clarifications, you can contact European College of Neuropsychopharmacology directly at ecnp.eu Disabled World does not provide any warranties or endorsements related to this article.

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