Schizophrenia overview

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Pratik Bahekar, MBBS [2]


Schizophrenia, from the Greek roots schizein (σχίζειν, "to split") and phrēn, phren- (φρήν, φρεν-, "mind") is characterised by delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized speech and behaviour, which progressively leads to social and occupational dysfunction. It is important to understand the difference between psychosis and schizophrenia. Psychosis is a general term used to describe loss of contact with reality. Psychosis can be observed in several conditions including severe depression, bipolar disorder, bereavement, use of illicit drugs, brain tumors and infections, strokes, etc. Schizophrenia is a kind of psychosis. Typically, symptoms of schizophrenia are classified as positive and negative. Onset of symptoms typically occurs in young adulthood, [1] with approximately 0.4–0.6%[2][3] of the population affected. Many studies have identified progressive structural as well as functional brain changes. There is no diagnostic laboratory test for schizophrenia and it continues to be clinically diagnosed by self-reported experiences and observed behavior.


  1. Castle E, Wessely S, Der G, Murray RM (1991). "The incidence of operationally defined schizophrenia in Camberwell 1965–84," British Journal of Psychiatry 159: 790–794. PMID 1790446
  2. Bhugra, D. (2005). The global prevalence of schizophrenia. PLoS Medicine, 2 (5), 372–373. PMID 15916460
  3. Goldner EM, Hsu L, Waraich P, Somers JM (2002). Prevalence and incidence studies of schizophrenic disorders: a systematic review of the literature. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 47(9), 833–43. PMID 12500753

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