Topics tagged with "Schizophrenia symptoms"

What is schizophrenia and how is it diagnosed?

Schizophrenia occurs in about one percent of the general population  Following a diagnosis of schizophrenia, and with effective treatment, up to 80% of people report good or intermediate outcomes. Three main symptom clusters have been identified: Positive symptoms Positive symptoms are a well-documented feature of schizophrenia and are arguably the most recognisable and conspicuous, and can cause extreme distress to the individual. They include hallucinations, which are defined as a perceptual experience that occurs in the absence of any external sensory input, and are most commonly auditory, although they can occur in any modality. Delusions are also positive symptoms, and involve…

Treatments for negative symptoms

What are negative symptoms?  Negative symptoms are referring to an absence of normal functions. This may include (but is not limited to) blunted affect, which is a scarcity of facial expressions of emotion, reduced frequency and range of gestures and voice modulation, and restricted eye contact; alogia (poverty of speech); asociality (reduced social interaction); avolition (reduced motivation and often poor hygiene) and anhedonia, which is reduced experience of pleasure. What is the evidence on treatments for negative symptoms? Moderate quality evidence finds some benefit for improving negative symptoms from second-generation, but not first-generation antipsychotics compared to placebo. Moderate to low…

Disorganised symptoms

What are disorganised symptoms? Key features of the symptoms of disorganisation include disorganised speech and behaviour, as well as inappropriate affect. Severely disorganised speech is difficult to follow, being incoherent, irrelevant and/or illogical. These symptoms are sometimes referred to as positive formal thought disorder. Disorganised speech may also be deprived of content, which is sometimes referred to as negative formal thought disorder symptoms. Disorganised behaviour includes bizarre or inappropriate behaviour, actions or gestures. Inappropriate (incongruous) affect involves exhibiting incorrect emotional responses for a given context. Symptoms of disorganisation have been identified as risk factors for poor illness outcome, and have…

Negative symptoms

What are negative symptoms? The ‘negative symptoms’ of schizophrenia refer to an absence of normal functions. This includes a scarcity of facial expressions of emotion, reduced frequency and range of gestures and voice modulation, restricted eye contact, poverty of speech, reduced social interaction, reduced motivation, poor hygiene, and reduced experience of pleasure often manifesting as scarcity of recreation, inability to experience closeness, and reduced interest in any sexual activity. Deficit syndrome is a subtype of schizophrenia with persisting negative symptoms that is described by specifically defined assessments used primarily for research. What is the evidence regarding negative symptoms? Moderate to…

Cognitive functioning related to symptoms

How is cognitive functioning related to symptoms?  Schizophrenia is characterised by positive, negative and disorganised symptoms. Positive symptoms refer to experiences additional to what would be considered normal experience, such as hallucinations and delusions. Negative symptoms include blunted affect, impoverished thinking, alogia, asociality, avolition and anhedonia. Alogia is often manifested as poverty of speech, asociality involves reduced social interaction, avolition refers to poor hygiene and reduced motivation, while anhedonia is defined as an inability to experience pleasure. Disorganised symptoms involve bizarre behavior and disorganised thought and speech. Cognitive deficits are also a core feature of schizophrenia. These deficits may be…

Positive symptoms

What are positive symptoms?  Positive symptoms are a well-documented feature of schizophrenia and are arguably the most recognisable and conspicuous symptoms. Positive symptoms include hallucinations and delusions. Hallucinations are defined as a perceptual experience that occurs in the absence of any external sensory input, and are most commonly auditory, but can occur in any modality. Delusions are distortions or exaggerations of inferential thinking, which lack any logical consistency, are not explained by cultural beliefs, and persist regardless of contradictory evidence. Persecutory delusions involve the belief that people are “out to get” the individual, resulting in a lack of trust in…

Schizophrenia

How is schizophrenia diagnosed?  Diagnostic scales are widely used within clinical practice and research settings. These scales have been extensively validated and provide a set of criteria that is used to define and diagnose an illness. Two key examples include the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) and the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases (ICD). Both the DSM and ICD criteria are regularly updated, and the most recent versions are the DSM-5 and the ICD-10. For a DSM-5 diagnosis of schizophrenia, at least two symptoms need to have been present for at least six months, and…

Outcome assessment tools

How can outcome assessment tools be used? Standardised assessment tools are vital for assessing a range of variables including symptoms, functioning and quality of life. The quality of these tools can be measured in various ways. ‘Reliability’ refers to the reproducibility of an instrument’s results across different assessors, settings and times. ‘Construct validity’ is the extent to which an instrument measures the theoretical construct it was designed to measure. This involves ‘convergent validity’ (the degree of correlation between different scales measuring the same construct); and ‘divergent validity’ (the lack of correlation between scales measuring different constructs). ‘Known groups’ validity’ is…

Early detection

What is early detection of psychosis? Early detection refers to the correct identification of individuals who are at high risk of developing schizophrenia, with an emphasis on the development of frank psychosis. Several assessment tools have been constructed to effectively identify such individuals. Sensitivity of an assessment tool refers to the proportion of people who develop psychosis that were previously identified by the assessment tool as being at high risk. Specificity is the proportion of people who do not develop psychosis that were previously identified as not being at high risk. Assessment tools therefore aim to have both high sensitivity…

NeuRA Libraries

Title Colour Legend:
Green - Topic summary is available.
Orange - Topic summary is being compiled.
Red - Topic summary has no current systematic review available.