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Author: Frances R Frankenburg, MD; Chief Editor: Eduardo Dunayevich, MD
Medscape Medical News Referernce
Updated July 7, 2014
Posted July 26, 2014

Schizophrenia is a brain disorder that affects how people think, feel, and perceive the world.

Signs and symptoms

The symptoms of schizophrenia may be divided into the following 4 domains:
  • Positive symptoms - Psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations, which are usually auditory; delusions; and disorganized speech and behavior
  • Negative symptoms - Decrease in emotional range, poverty of speech, and loss of interests and drive; the person with schizophrenia has tremendous inertia
  • Cognitive symptoms - Neurocognitive deficits (eg, deficits in working memory and attention and in executive functions, such as the ability to organize and abstract); patients also find it difficult to understand nuances and subtleties of interpersonal cues and relationships
  • Mood symptoms - Patients often seem cheerful or sad in a way that is difficult to understand; they often are depressed

This overview is written as a clinician's reference. It should not be used to diagnose an illness,which should always be done by a competent medical professional.
Due to its length, a :acrobat: copy of the entire article (16 pages) is attached for download / viewing / printing.


  • Schizophrenia Medscape Overview.pdf
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