Schizophrenia and Related Syndromes

Schizophrenia and Related Syndromes

Schizophrenia and Related Syndromes

Schizophrenia and Related Syndromes

Synopsis

This new edition of Schizophrenia and Related Syndromeshas been thoroughly updated and revised to provide an authoritative overview of the subject, including new chapters on the neurodevelopmental hypothesis, cognitive neuropsychology, and schizophrenia and personality.

Peter McKenna guides the reader through a vast amount of literature on schizophrenia plus related syndromes such as paranoia and schizoaffective disorder, providing detailed and in-depth, but highly readable, accounts of the key areas of research. The book describes the clinical features of schizophrenia and its causes and treatment, covering subjects such as:

  • Aetiological factors in schizophrenia
  • The neurodevelopmental theory of schizophrenia
  • Neuroleptic drug treatment
  • Paraphrenia and paranoia
  • Childhood schizophrenia, autism and Asperger's syndrome

Schizophrenia and Related Syndromeswill prove invaluable for psychiatrists and clinical psychologists in training and in practice. It will also be a useful guide for mental health professionals and researchers working in related fields.

Excerpt

Schizophrenia confronts the clinician with an array of symptoms that is remarkably diverse and disconcertingly large. The symptoms themselves are often quite strange, sometimes extraordinary, and on occasion downright unbelievable. To make matters worse they vary greatly from patient to patient, and in the same patient at different times. In such circumstances their description and classification might be considered to present something of a daunting task.

To a considerable extent this task was accomplished by Kraepelin (1913a) and Bleuler (1911) in the two original accounts of schizophrenia. With an eloquence that has never been equalled, they delineated the full range of symptoms seen in the disorder, brought them to life with examples, and constructed a framework for classifying them that has governed all subsequent thinking. Succeeding decades saw only minor modifications to their scheme, the most important of which was the isolation by Schneider (1958) of a set of ‘first rank’ symptoms, which he considered to be pathognomonic of schizophrenia. Some further refinement has been achieved in the contemporary era of standardised methods of assessment. A particularly influential contribution in this area has been the rich and phenomenologically rigorous definitions of many schizophrenic symptoms provided in the glossary to a structured psychiatric interview, the Present State Examination of Wing et al. (1974), which far outstrips any of its competitors.

The symptoms detailed in this chapter consist of those that would be ordinarily regarded as psychotic rather than neurotic, and would be considered unexceptional in established schizophrenia, or, if they occurred in isolation, would raise the distinct possibility of schizophrenia being the diagnosis. These are divided in the time-honoured way into abnormal ideas; abnormal perceptions; formal thought disorder; motor, volitional, and behavioural disorders; and emotional disorders. Some members of each category have come to be regarded as prominent, striking, or especially characteristic of schizophrenia and therefore are singled out as cardinal symptoms. Other more minor or non-specific phenomena are grouped together as miscellaneous symptoms. Finally, there are the diagnostically important but otherwise motley collection of Schneiderian first rank symptoms, which are given a category of their own.

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