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Schizophrenia is a chronic and disabling brain disease. People with schizophrenia often suffer terrifying episodes of hearing internal voices not heard by others, or believing that other people are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts, or plotting to harm them. These symptoms may leave them fearful and withdrawn. Their speech and behavior can be so disorganized that they may be incomprehensible or frightening to others.
Some people have only one episode; others have many episodes during a lifetime, but lead relatively normal lives during the interim periods. However, the individual with "chronic" schizophrenia, or a continuous or recurring pattern of illness, often does not fully recover normal functioning and typically requires long-term treatment, generally including medication, to control the symptoms. Available treatments can relieve many symptoms, but most people with schizophrenia continue to suffer some symptoms throughout their lives.
Approximately 1 percent of the population develops schizophrenia during their lifetime - more than 2 million Americans suffer from the illness in a given year.
There is now significant emphasis on early diagnosis and treatment of schizophrenia. The initial episode often requires hospitalization. Medications and other treatments for schizophrenia can help reduce and control the distressing symptoms of the illness.
Get the Facts... With your MediFocus Guide
The Medifocus Guide on Schizophrenia provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:
- What are the most common symptoms of schizophrenia?
- Are there any recognized risk factors for developing schizophrenia?
- What kinds of medical tests are used to establish the diagnosis of schizophrenia?
- What is the current standard of care for the treatment of schizophrenia?
- What treatment options are available for the management of schizophrenia?
- Are there any promising new developments or potential breakthroughs in treatment?
- Who are the most notable medical authorities who specialize in schizophrenia?
- Where are the leading hospitals and centers of research for schizophrenia?
- What are the most important questions to ask my doctor about schizophrenia?
What Your Doctor Reads:
This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:
- Schizophrenia epigenesis?.
Theoretical Medicine & Bioethics. 2000
- Depression in schizophrenia: perspective in the era of "Atypical" antipsychotic agents.
American Journal of Psychiatry. 2000
- Patient education in schizophrenia: a review.
Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica. 2000
- Family interventions in schizophrenia and related disorders: a critical review of clinical trials.
Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica. 2000
- Guideline for the pharmacotherapy of treatment-resistant schizophrenia. Royal College of Psychiatrists of Thailand.
Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand. 2000
- Intrinsic excitatory connections in the prefrontal cortex and the pathophysiology of schizophrenia.
Brain Research Bulletin. 2000
- The imbalanced brain: from normal behavior to schizophrenia.
Biological Psychiatry. 2000
- Drugs with estrogen-like potency and brain activity: potential therapeutic application for the CNS.
Current Pharmaceutical Design. 2000
- Schizophrenia as a disorder of developmentally reduced synaptic connectivity.
Archives of General Psychiatry. 2000
- Addiction and schizophrenia.
European Psychiatry: the Journal of the Association of European Psychiatrists. 2000
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