Schizophrenia and Psychotic Syndromes
Author: European College of Neuropsychopharmacology
Synopsis and Key Points:
Schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders are a chronic and often disabling condition.
Main DigestPress conference on the occasion of the 23rd ECNP Congress, Aug. 29, 2010, Amsterdam.
Schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders are a chronic and often disabling condition. Despite modern treatment techniques they still present an enormous burden to the patients and their relatives and take a serious toll in terms of human suffering and societal expenditure.
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 across individuals and also 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, and many of them will experience successive episodes throughout their lives, with 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 2 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 agenda of public health.
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
- 1 - Mental Health: The $293 Billion Elephant in the Waiting Room : National Council for Behavioral Health (2015/01/30)
- 2 - Social Isolation and Loneliness Greater Threat to Public Health Than Obesity : American Psychological Association (2017/08/06)
- 3 - Metacognitive Therapy: A Cure For Social Anxiety Disorders? : Norwegian University of Science and Technology (2016/12/16)
- 4 - Control Your Emotions by Talking to Yourself in the 3rd Person : Michigan State University (2017/07/26)
- 5 - Lack of Mental Health Care in Prisons : University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (2015/01/12)
- 6 - Treating and Preventing Seasonal Affective Disorder : Northwestern Medicine (2014/11/23)
- 7 - Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): The Winter Blues : Wake Forest University (2011/02/20)
• Disabled World is strictly a news and information website provided for general informational purpose only and does not constitute medical advice. Materials presented are in no way meant to be a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified practitioner, nor should they be construed as such. Any 3rd party offering or advertising on disabled-world.com does not constitute endorsement by Disabled World.