SCHIZOPHENIA (Schizophrenic disorders)::
A group of related disorders of unknown etiology in which there is a special type of disordered thinking, affect, and behavior. Diagnosis is difficult to standardize because there are no specific physical findings or laboratory data. Because of this, the diagnosis of schizophrenia is imprecise. In addition, there may only resemble schizophrenia. Clinically, patients exhibit disturbances of content of thought with delusions, such as the feeling that thoughts that have been inserted into their head are now being broadcast to the world. Speech may be coherent in actual words used but entirely unassociated with plausible thoughts or reality. Alternatively, the patient may be mute or completely incoherent. Perception is disordered by all forms of hallucinations. Affect may be flat or inappropriate to the situation. There is a loss of a feeling of identity, and self-direction may be disturbed. All activity may be disturbed so that the ability to work or carry a task to completion is severely impaired. Interpersonal relations are abnormal and may manifest as social withdrawal and emotional detachment. The patient may be catatonic or otherwise unaware of is or her surroundings. In general, these disturbances are present for six months before the diagnosis of schizophrenia is accepted. Prognosis is usually poor, but, over a 25- to 30-year period, about one third of patients will show recovery or remission. Schizophrenia occurs equally in males and females and at any age, but the usual age of admission to a hospital is 28-34. It occurs more frequently in the lowest socio-economic groups. An estimated 100.000 to 200.000 new cases occur each year in the U.S. There is little doubt that genetic factors are important in schizophrenia, but the precise mode of inheritance has not been determined.
- From previous website: Schizophrenia (LGR)
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