Schizophrenia: DSM-5 Flashcards Preview

000 Serper Final > Schizophrenia: DSM-5 > Flashcards

Flashcards in Schizophrenia: DSM-5 Deck (35):


Fixed beliefs that are not amenable to change in light of conflicting evidence

Content may include a variety of themes:
*persecutory (most common)

Distinction between a delusion and a strongly held idea: degree of conviction despite clear or reasonable contradictory evidence



Perception-like experiences that occur without an external stimulus

Vivid and clear, with the full force and impact of normal perceptions, and not under voluntary control

Auditory hallucinations are the most common in schizophrenia and related disorders, but they may occur in any sensory modality
*usually experienced as voices that are perceived as distinct from the individual's own thoughts

*hallucinations that occur while falling asleep (hypnagogic) were waking up (hypnopompic) are considered to be within the range of normal experience

Hallucinations may be a normal part of religious experience in certain cultural contexts


Disorganized Thinking
(Formal Thought Disorder)

Typically inferred from the individual's speech

The individual may switch from one topic to another
*loose associations

Answers to questions may be obliquely related or completely unrelated

Rarely, speech may be so severely disorganized that it is nearly incomprehensible and resembles aphasia
*incoherence or 'word salad'

*less severe disorganized thinking her speech may occur during the prodromal and residual periods of schizophrenia


Grossly Disorganized or Abnormal Motor Behavior
(Including Catatonia)

Grossly disorganized or abnormal motor behavior may manifest in a variety of ways, ranging from childlike "silliness" to unpredictable agitation

Problems may be noted in any form of goal-directed behavior, leading to difficulties in performing activities of daily living

Catatonic behavior is a marked decrease in reactivity to the environment


Catatonic behavior range

Negativism – resistance to instructions

Maintaining a rigid, inappropriate or bizarre posture

Mutism and Stupor – complete lack of verbal and motor responses

Catatonic Excitement –purposeless and excessive motor activity without obvious cause

Repeated catatonic stereotyped movements

Staring, grimacing, mutism, echoing of speech

*although catatonia has historically been associated with schizophrenia, catatonic symptoms are nonspecific and may occur in other mental disorders


Negative Symptoms

Particularly prominent in SZ:
Diminished Emotional Expression

Other Negative Symptoms:


Diminished Emotional Expression

Reductions in the expression of:

*emotions in the face

*eye contact

*intonation of speech (prosody)

*movements of the hand and face that normally give an emotional emphasis to speech



Decrease in motivated self-initiated purposeful activities

The individual may sit for long periods of time and show little interest in participating in work or social activities



Diminished speech output



Decreased ability to experience pleasure from positive stimuli


Degradation in the recollection of pleasure previously experienced



Apparent lack of interest in social interactions

May be associated with evolution, but it can also be a manifestation of limited opportunities for social interactions


DSM-5 Critera

2 or more of the following, each present for a significant portion of time during a 1-month period:

1. Delusions

2. Hallucinations

3. Disorganized speech (e.g. frequent derailment or incoherence)

4. Grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior

5. Negative symptoms (diminished emotional expression or avolition)

*At least one symptom must be A1, A2 or A3

*Continuous signs of the disturbance persist for at least 6 months

*6-month period, must include at least 1 month of symptoms that meet criterion A (active-phase symptoms) and may include periods of prodromal or residual symptoms

*During these prodromal residual periods, the signs of the disturbance may be manifested by only negative symptoms or by 2 or more symptoms listed in criterion A in an attenuated form (odd beliefs, unusual perceptual experiences)


Associated Features Supporting Diagnosis of Schizophrenia

Inappropriate affect

Dysphoric mood that can take the form of depression, anxiety or anger

Disturbed sleep pattern

Lack of interest in eating or food refusal



Somatic concerns that sometimes reach delusional proportions

Anxiety and phobias are common


Cognitive deficits in schizophrenia

Decrements in:

Declarative memory

Working memory

Language function

Other executive functions

Slower processing speed

Abnormalities in sensory processing and inhibitory capacity

Reductions in attention


Social cognition deficits associated with schizophrenia

Theory of mind – the ability to infer the intentions of other people

May attend to and then interpret irrelevant events or stimuli as meaningful, perhaps leading to the generation of explanatory delusions



Lack of insight or awareness of their disorder

This lack of insight includes unawareness of symptoms of schizophrenia and may be present throughout the entire course of the illness

Unawareness is typically a symptom of schizophrenia itself rather than a coping strategy

Most common predictor of non-adherence to treatment


Higher relapse rates

Increased number of involuntary treatments

Poorer psychosocial functioning


Poorer course of illness


Prevalence of Schizophrenia

0.3% – 0.7%


SZ Onset

Psychotic features typically emerge between the late teens and the mid-30s

Onset prior to adolescence is rare

First psychotic episode:
Males – early-to mid-20s
Females – late-20s

Majority of individuals manifest the slow and gradual development of a variety of clinically significant signs and symptoms

Half of these individuals complain of depressive symptoms

Earlier age at onset has traditionally been seen as a predictor of worse prognosis

Late-onset (after 40) are overrepresented by single females


SZ Course

Course appears to be favorable in about 20% of SZ patients

A small number are reported to recover completely

Most individuals require formal or informal daily living supports

Many remain chronically ill with exacerbations and remissions of active symptom

Some have a course of progressive deterioration

*Psychotic symptoms tend to diminish over the life course (possibly related to decreased dopamine activity)

Negative symptoms are more closely related to prognosis and tend to be the most persistent

Cognitive deficits may not improve over the course of the illness


SZ Risk Factors: Environmental

Season of birth has been linked to incidence, including late winter/early spring

Higher risk for children growing up in an urban environment and for some minority ethnic groups


SZ Risk Factors: Genetics

Strong contribution for genetic factors, although most individuals have been diagnosed have no family history of psychosis

Certain risk alleles have been identified, which are also associated with bipolar disorder, depression and ASD


SZ Gender Related DX Issues

General incidence tends to be slightly lower in females

Age of onset is later and females, with a second midlife peak

Symptoms tend to be more affect-laden among females, and there are more psychotic symptoms as well as a greater propensity for psychotic symptoms to worsen in later life

Social functioning tends to be better preserved in females

Less frequent negative symptoms and disorganization and females


SZ Suicide Risk

5-6% suicide completion

20% attempt suicide on one or more occasions

Suicidal behavior is sometimes in response to command hallucinations to harm oneself or others

Suicide risk remains high over the whole lifespan for males and females
*especially high for younger males with comorbid substance abuse

**Increased risk in the period after a psychotic episode or hospital discharge


Functional consequences of schizophrenia

Significant social and occupational dysfunction

Educational progress and employment are impaired by avolition or other disorder manifestations, even when the cognitive skills are sufficient for the tasks at hand

Most are employed a lower level than their parents

Most, particularly men, do not marry or have limited social contacts outside of their family


SZ Differential diagnosis: MDD or Bipolar with psychotic or catatonic features

Depends on the temporal relationship between the mood disturbance and the psychosis, and on the severity of the depressive or manic symptoms

If delusions or hallucinations occur exclusively during a major depressive or manic episode, the diagnosis is depressive or bipolar disorder with psychotic features


SZ Differential diagnosis: Schizoaffective disorder

Dx of Schizoaffective disorder requires that a major depressive or manic episode occur concurrently with the active-phase symptoms and that the mood symptoms be present for a majority of the total duration of the active periods


SZ Differential diagnosis: Schizophreniform disorder and brief psychotic disorder

Schizophreniform and brief psychotic disorder are of shorter duration (less than 6 months)

Schizophreniform – disturbance is present less than 6 months

Brief psychotic disorder – symptoms are present at least 1 day but less than 1 month


SZ Differential diagnosis: Delusional Disorder

Delusional disorder is distinguished by the absence of other symptoms characteristic of schizophrenia, such as delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior, negative symptoms


SZ Differential diagnosis: Schizotypal personality disorder

Schizotypal :

sub-threshold symptoms that are associated with persistent personality features


SZ Differential diagnosis: OCD and BDD

Individuals with OCD and BDD may present with poor or absent insight, and the preoccupations may reach delusional proportions

But these disorders are distinguished by their prominent obsessions, compulsions, preoccupations with appearance or body odor, hoarding, or body-focused repetitive behaviors


SZ Differential diagnosis: PTSD

PTSD may include flashbacks that have a hallucinatory quality, and hyper vigilance may reach paranoid proportions

But a traumatic event and characteristic symptom features relating to reliving or reacting to the event are required to make the diagnosis


SZ Differential diagnosis: ASD or Communication Disorders

ASD and Communication disorders may also have symptoms resembling a psychotic episode

They are distinguished by their respective deficits in social interaction with repetitive and restricted behaviors and other cognitive and communication deficits

Co-moribidity requisites:
symptoms that meet full criteria for schizophrenia, with prominent hallucinations or delusions for at least 1 month,


SZ Differential diagnosis: Other mental disorders associated with a psychotic episode

The diagnosis of schizophrenia is made only when:

Psychotic episode is persistent

Psychotic episode is not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance or another medical condition


SZ Comorbidity

Substance-related disorders

Over half smoke cigarettes regularly

Elevated rates of OCD and panic disorder

Schizotypal or paranoid personality disorder may sometimes precede the onset of schizophrenia


SZ Life expectancy

Life expectancy is reduced due to...

Associated medical conditions:
*weight gain
*metabolic syndrome
*cardiovascular and pulmonary disease

Increased risk of chronic disease:
*cigarette smoking