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Acute schizophrenia

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This article deals specifically with short lived episodes of schizophrenia. For wider consideration of Schizophrenia - see that page.


Acute schizophrenia is also known as Reactive Schizophrenia or Type I schizophrenia. It is usually manifested quite suddenly, often as a reaction to a significant stressor. Since the premorbid history is good, when it does manifest itself, it is in the early phases of the condition. It is often more amenable to treatment than the chronic form of schizophrenia, (also known as process schizophrenia). However, episodes of Type I schizophrenia may lead on to the development of Type II symptoms.

Acute schizophrenia resembles amphetamine psychosis. [1] Acute schizophrenia is usually restricted to the 'positive' symptoms (delusions, hallucinations and thought disorder) and these are the very characteristics that respond well to treatment with neuroleptins.

There are several studies that point to the existence of two, distinct syndromes that are currently termed schizophrenia:

Chronic schizophrenia can be resistant to treatment with amphetamine-like drugs which are effective in the treatment of acute schizophrenia [2]

Insititutionalisation itself can lead to negative symptoms such as depressed affect and disorientation. [3]

Computer tomography has suggested a correlation between ventricular abnormality and the negative symptoms of schizophrenia. [4]



See also

References & Bibliography

  1. Randrup, A. & Munkvad, I. (1965) 'Special Antagonism of Amphetamine-induced Abnormal Behaviour. Inhibition of Stereotyped Activity With Increase of Some Normal Activities' in Psychopharmacologia, Vol 7, pp416-22
  2. Kornetsky, C. (1976) 'Hyporesponsivity of Chronic Schizophrenic Patients to Dextroamphetamine' in Archives of General Psychiatry, Vol 33, pp1425-8
  3. Crow, T.J. & Mitchell, W. S. (1975) 'Subjective Age in Chronic Schizophrenia: Evidence for a Sub-group of Patients with Defective Learning Capacity?' in British Journal of Psychiatry, Vol 126, pp360-3.
  4. Johnstone, E.C., Crow, T.J., Frith, C.D., Stevens, M., Kreel, L. & Husband, J. (1978) 'The Dementia of Dementia Praecox' in Acta Psychiatr Scand, vol 57, pp305-24

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