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Schizophrenia Notes

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This is an extract of our Schizophrenia document, which we sell as part of our Psychiatry Notes collection written by the top tier of University Of Leicester students.

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Schizophrenia Severe and chronic psychotic illness characterized by impairments in
- Perception
- Cognition
- Social functioning
- Occupational functioning Psychosis = impairment of mental function to such a degree that it interferes with everyday living and reduces individuals capacity to maintain adequate contact with reality

Epidemiology1% prevalence M>F (earlier onset in males)

AetiologyGenetic factors o Strong genetic component o Likely to involve several genes (but not yet found)
- Prenatal factors o Associated with exposure to viral infections as a neonate
- Social factors o Urban environment, unemployment, deprivation, traumatic life events o Illicit drug use e.g cannabis and amphetamines
- Neurological factors o Increased risk in those who have had head injuries o Increased risk of schizophrenia in temporal lobe epilepsy
- Neurochemical factors o "Dopamine hypothesis"
? Suggests positive symptoms caused by dopamine overactivity in the mesolimbic system Delusion = firmly held belief in spite of evidence to the contrary, Differential diagnoses not in-keeping with
- Drug/alcohol withdrawal/abuse religious/cultural background
- Temporal lobe epilepsy
- Head injury Hallucination = perception
- Cerebral tumour experienced in absence of external
- Encephalitis

Clinical featuresHighly suggestive - "Schneider's first rank symptoms" o Auditory hallucinations
? Usually 3rd person, abusive comments about pts personality or behaviour o Thought disorder
? Usually reflected in speech
? Loosening of associations (Knight's Move), flight of ideas o Delusional beliefs
? Thought withdrawal, thought insertion, thought broadcasting, paranoid delusions, delusions of reference,

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