Dr. Roxanne Dryden-Edwards is an adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist. She is a former Chair of the Committee on Developmental Disabilities for the American Psychiatric Association, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and Medical Director of the National Center for Children and Families in Bethesda, Maryland.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Schizophrenia is a
chronic, severe, debilitating mental illness that affects about 1% of
the population, more than 2 million people in the United States alone.
With the sudden onset of severe psychotic symptoms,
the individual is said to be experiencing acute schizophrenia.
out of touch with reality or unable to separate real from
There is no known single cause of schizophrenia. As
it appears that genetic factors produce a vulnerability to
schizophrenia, with environmental factors contributing to
degrees in different individuals.
There are a number of various treatments for schizophrenia.
complexity of schizophrenia, the major questions about this
disorder (its cause or causes, prevention, and treatment) are unlikely
resolved in the near future. The public should beware of
"the cure" for (or "the cause" of)
Schizophrenia is one of the psychotic mental disorders and is characterized
by symptoms of thought, behavior, and social problems.
Symptoms of schizophrenia may include delusions, hallucinations, catatonia,
negative symptoms, and disorganized speech or behavior.
There are five types of schizophrenia based on the kind of symptoms the
person has at the time of assessment: paranoid, disorganized, catatonic,
undifferentiated, and residual.
Children as young as 6 years of age can be found to have all the symptoms of
schizophrenia as their adult counterparts and to continue to have those symptoms
Although the term schizophrenia has only been in used since 1911, its
symptoms have been described throughout written history.
Schizophrenia is considered to be the result of a complex group of genetic,
psychological, and environmental factors.
Health-care practitioners diagnose schizophrenia by gathering comprehensive
medical, family, mental-health, and social/cultural information.
The practitioner will also either perform a physical examination or request
that the individual's primary-care doctor perform one. The medical examination
will usually include lab tests.
In addition to providing treatment that is appropriate to the diagnosis,
professionals attempt to determine the presence of mental illnesses that may
People with schizophrenia are at increased risk of having a number of other
mental-health conditions, committing suicide, and otherwise dying earlier than
people without this disorder.
Medications that have been found to be most effective in treating the
positive symptoms of schizophrenia are first- and second-generation antipsychotics.
Psychosocial interventions for schizophrenia include education of family
members, assertive community treatment, substance-abuse treatment, social-skills
training, supported employment, cognitive behavioral therapy, and weight
Cognitive remediation, peer-to-peer treatment, and weight-management interventions remain the focus topics for research.
Reviewed by Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD on 11/1/2011
An MRI (or magnetic resonance imaging) scan is a
radiology technique that uses magnetism, radio waves, and a computer
to produce images of body structures. The MRI scanner is a tube
surrounded by a giant circular"...