Schizophrenia spectrum disorders
The disorder typically begins in late adolescence with an insidious onset, progressing from social withdrawal to an active phase consisting of perceptual perturbations, recurrent delusions, and hallucinations. Patients typically experience the first psychotic episode in the early- to mid-20s. Onset before adolescence is rare but can occur and is associated with a less favorable prognosis. Schizophrenia is typically a chronic disorder with significant impairments in functioning throughout the lifespan, although antipsychotics are up to 70% effective in reducing symptoms.
Risk factors for developing schizophrenia include winter birth, increasing paternal age, and family history of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is seen in 6.6% of all first-degree relatives of the affected parent, and if both parents are affected, the risk of schizophrenia in the offspring is 40%.
Patients with this disorder may have an increased risk of various general medical conditions.
F20.9 – Schizophrenia, unspecified
58214004 – Schizophrenia
Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls
- Schizoaffective disorder – associated with mood episodes (mania or depression) as well as at least 2 weeks of delusions and hallucinations without mood symptoms
- Major with psychotic features – psychotic symptoms only occur during depressive episodes
- Brief psychotic disorder – psychotic symptoms of more than 1 day but less than 1 month
- Schizophreniform disorder – symptoms of schizophrenia lasting less than 6 months
- Delusional disorder – at least 1 month of delusions with no other psychotic symptoms
- – look for physiologic signs of substance abuse such as changes in heart rate, blood pressure, and pupil size
- Psychosis due to a general medical condition