June 14, 2007

Excellent Schizophrenia Review Article

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) has provided a very good overview of schizophrenia loaded with interesting and quite current information.

It talks about risk and risk reduction strategies, genetics, medications and other treatments, side-effects, and health monitoring, as well as diagnosis and mis-diagnosis of the illness (or illnesses) we call schizophrenia.

All the information is interesting, but here are a few key points:

A family history of schizophrenia (genetics) is the most significant risk factor for the development of schizophrenia, but a family environment with straight-forward communication and little criticism offers some protection from triggering the genetic risk and the development of schizophrenia.

Multiple genes are involved in the development of schizophrenia and both developmental and environmental factors influence the expression of those genes. Little is known about which areas of the brain get affected and how these areas of the brain influence which symptoms develop or how severe those symptoms are. Also not known is if there are different underlying causes, or even different diseases, manifesting with the varied symptoms of schizophrenia.

Over 30% of people later diagnosed with schizophrenia initially were diagnosed with something different, and over 20% of people diagnosed with schizophrenia later get their diagnoses changed. About 75% of patients discontinue medication before the end of two years regardless of whether a typical or atypical antipsychotic (neuroleptic) is used, which often results in relapse. The AAFP gives permission to print out the article for personal use - we recommend you print it out and distribute it at support group meetings (e.g. NAMI, Schizophrenia Society of Canada, etc.).

Read the article: Schizophrenia: A Review

Source: American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)


It's good to see dsm diagnostic criteria for the 'illness' they call schizophrenia. I've read several books on the subject and they always skirt around the issue.

Posted by: Reg Cooper at June 17, 2007 07:28 PM

Post a comment

Please enter this code to enable your comment -
Remember Me?
(you may use HTML tags for style)
* indicates required