September 14, 2005

Discerning Transient Psychotic Disorder From Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia can often be confused with other disorders such as bipolar disorder or with an acute and transient psychotic disorder.

One of the differences between schizophrenia and transient psychotic disorder that was found in a recent study was a lack of deterioration in general functioning for those only having a transient psychotic disorder. Researchers in Germany observed over a 7 to 12 year period that those experiencing an acute and transient psychotic disorder were more likely to function well when off medication than those suffering from schizophrenia.

Researchers looked at 39 people with acute or transient psychotic disorder and 38 individuals with schizophrenia. They were followed up at 3 "time-points" over 7 years after having their index episode or 12 years after having their first episode.

"Individuals with schizophrenia showed a significant decrease in global functioning, as measured on the Global Assessment Scale, from the first to the third follow-up, with average scores dropping from 66.1 to 58.6 points over this period of time. In contrast, patients with acute or transient psychosis retained a high level of functioning, with scores generally remaining stable, at between 81.4 and 82.5 points" (

The risk of relapse was the same for those with schizophrenia and those with acute/transient psychotic disorder. They both had an average relapse rate of 79% during follow up. At the end of the study 31% with acute or transient psychosis able to function fine without medication and had "longitudinally stable remission" whereas none of the participants with schizophrenia were yet at that point. This study shows that maintenance medication may be more necessary for those with schizophrenia than for those with a transient or acute psychotic disorder.

Original Source: High level of functioning retained in acute and transient psychotic disorder. September 14, 2005.

This research article was published in Br J Psychiatry 2005; 187: 286–287


Has there been any study done on people with Downs Syndrome and Schizophrenia?If so where do I find information or help?

Posted by: Norma O'Neal at September 15, 2005 08:25 AM

What is the treatment for
transient or acute psychotic disorder? How is it determend wheather it's schidzophrenia or a transit psychotic disorder? thank you

Posted by: Blueknight at September 16, 2005 06:23 AM

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