Schizophrenia Disorder

Schizophrenia is a chronic, disabling disorder beginning in adolescent or young adulthood, and it is characterized by impaired reality testing, disordered thought, flat or inappropriate affect, and resulting in marked social and occupational impairments. It may involve frequent hospitalization and usually is marked by deterioration. The nature of the disease is a source of controversy, whether it is a single disease or a spectrum of multiple diseases. Positive symptoms have been identified and differentiated from negative symptoms, and the positive-negative dichotomy recalls the division of Schizophrenia into types I and II, classification according to deficit and nondeficit forms, and the use of positive and negative symptoms in earlier discussions. Neuropsychological correlates of schizophrenia include disturbances in attentional functioning, memory, and problem-solving, as well as difficulty grasping concepts. These may be present from the onset of the disease and are not readily responsive to antipsychotic medication, and they may constitute the rate-limiting steps in treatment and rehabilitation as they affect employment success and the acquisition of independent living skills. Research today is directed toward identifying underlying structural or functional lesions, either the lesions are genetically determined, and the critical period in which the lesions occurred, a shift from the study of neurochemical systems to the investigation of the genetic, developmental,



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