Psychology & Psychiatry

Researchers find high-risk genes for schizophrenia

Using a unique computational framework they developed, a team of scientist cyber-sleuths in the Vanderbilt University Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics and the Vanderbilt Genetics Institute (VGI) has identified ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Study suggests overdiagnosis of schizophrenia

In a small study of patients referred to the Johns Hopkins Early Psychosis Intervention Clinic (EPIC), Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers report that about half the people referred to the clinic with a schizophrenia diagnosis ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Texting to improve health outcomes for people with schizophrenia

Texting patients with schizophrenia and their lay health supporters in a resource-poor community setting is more effective than a free-medicine program alone in improving medication adherence and reducing relapses and re-hospitalizations, ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Inflammation linked to chemical imbalance in schizophrenia

A study published in Molecular Psychiatry has identified changes in inflammation-related biochemical pathways in schizophrenia that interfere with proper brain nerve cell communication. Researchers have found the first direct ...

Genetics

Crime scene schizophrenia—30 genes under suspicion

The research group led by Prof. Alex Schier, director of the University of Basel's Biozentrum, has identified 30 genes associated with schizophrenia. The team was able to show which pathological changes in the brain and behavioral ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Towards new indicators of vulnerability to psychotic disorders

The decision-making processes of healthy subjects with sub-clinical psychotic episodes are altered in a way that is similar to what happens in subjects with schizophrenia. This is the key result of a study conducted by the ...

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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%).

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