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Introduction to Schizophrenia and Related Disorders

By S. Charles Schulz, MD, Professor Emeritus; Psychiatrist, University of Minnesota Medical School; Prairie Care Medical Group

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Schizophrenia and related disorders—brief psychotic disorder, delusional disorder, schizoaffective disorder, schizophreniform disorder, and schizotypal personality disorder—are characterized by psychotic symptoms and often by negative symptoms and/or cognitive dysfunction.

Psychotic symptoms include delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thinking and speech, and bizarre and inappropriate motor behavior (including catatonia).

Negative symptoms refer to a decrease in or lack of normal emotions and behaviors, such as having a flattened affect and lack of motivation.

Cognitive dysfunction in these disorders affects mainly sustained attention and working memory.