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Schizophrenia in Greek means “split mind” and is perhaps the most common psychotic disease. As a matter of fact, Schizophrenia is the fourth leading cause of disability in the developed world.
What is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a form of psychosis that results in the loss of contact with reality along with personality derangement. It is characterized by two kinds of symptoms – positive psychotic disorder like thought disorder, hallucination, delusion, and paranoia – and the negative symptoms which include impairment in energy, emotional range, and enjoyment of activities. Most individual cannot return to gainful employment because of poor memory, poor concentration and apathy. If individuals with Schizophrenia are not treated 15% of them commit suicide. Eye Tracking Dysfunction and Impaired Prepulse Inhibition are the common diagnosis for Schizophrenia.
Inheriting certain genes as well as the kind of environment one is exposed to leads to subtle alteration in the brain of a person which might results in the development of schizophrenia. Illicit drugs, like Cannabis is shown to cause Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia usually sets in, in the late adolescence to the late-20s.
Though there is no cure for schizophrenia, it can be treated effectively with medication and rehabilitation programs. In the past decade several atypical antipsychotic medications have been developed which has fewer side effects than the typical antipsychotic ones. Olanzapine (Zyprexa), quetiapine (Seroquel), risperidone (Risperdal), or aripiprazole (Abilify) drugs can be administered to the patient. If there is no improvement in the condition of the patient then Clozapine (Clozaril) is given to the patient. Usually this medicine is left as the last resort because of some serious side effects. Preventing psychotic relapse is the main aim of the doctor hence the medication has to be followed for at least 1 year and if the patient has multiple psychotic disorders, treatment should continue for at least 5 years. Patients with a history of suicide attempt or violent, aggressive behavior should continue to have antipsychotic medicines indefinitely.