Schizophrenia

When children with autism grow old

In the public consciousness, autism spectrum disorder only affects children. In truth, ASD is a lifelong condition. But how it affects older adults is a gaping unknown in autism research. Now, a new and significant ...

19 hours ago
popularity 134 comments 4

Infections can affect your IQ

New research shows that infections can impair your cognitive ability measured on an IQ scale. The study is the largest of its kind to date, and it shows a clear correlation between infection levels and impaired ...

May 21, 2015
popularity 108 comments 0

Schizophrenia (/ˌskɪtsɵˈfrɛniə/ or /ˌskɪtsɵˈfriːniə/) is a mental disorder characterized by a breakdown of thought processes and by poor emotional responsiveness. It most commonly manifests itself as auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions, or disorganized speech and thinking, and it is accompanied by significant social or occupational dysfunction. The onset of symptoms typically occurs in young adulthood, with a global lifetime prevalence of about 0.3–0.7%. Diagnosis is based on observed behavior and the patient's reported experiences.

Genetics, early environment, neurobiology, and psychological and social processes appear to be important contributory factors; some recreational and prescription drugs appear to cause or worsen symptoms. Current research is focused on the role of neurobiology, although no single isolated organic cause has been found. The many possible combinations of symptoms have triggered debate about whether the diagnosis represents a single disorder or a number of discrete syndromes. Despite the etymology of the term from the Greek roots skhizein (σχίζειν, "to split") and phrēn, phren- (φρήν, φρεν-; "mind"), schizophrenia does not imply a "split mind" and it is not the same as dissociative identity disorder—also known as "multiple personality disorder" or "split personality"—a condition with which it is often confused in public perception.

The mainstay of treatment is antipsychotic medication, which primarily suppresses dopamine (and sometimes serotonin) receptor activity. Psychotherapy and vocational and social rehabilitation are also important in treatment. In more serious cases—where there is risk to self and others—involuntary hospitalization may be necessary, although hospital stays are now shorter and less frequent than they once were.

The disorder is thought mainly to affect cognition, but it also usually contributes to chronic problems with behavior and emotion. People with schizophrenia are likely to have additional (comorbid) conditions, including major depression and anxiety disorders; the lifetime occurrence of substance abuse is almost 50%. Social problems, such as long-term unemployment, poverty and homelessness, are common. The average life expectancy of people with the disorder is 12 to 15 years less than those without, the result of increased physical health problems and a higher suicide rate (about 5%).

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA

Latest Spotlight News

Diagnosing cancer with help from bacteria

Engineers at MIT and the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) have devised a new way to detect cancer that has spread to the liver, by enlisting help from probiotics—beneficial bacteria similar to ...

Brain signals contain the code for your next move

Is it possible to tap into the signalling in the brain to figure out where you will go next? Hiroshi Ito, a researcher at the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience at the Norwegian University of Science ...