Fast Five Quiz: Schizophrenia Presentation and Diagnosis

Stephen Soreff, MD

Disclosures

August 09, 2019

Deficits in executive function, working memory, and attention are cognitive symptoms associated with schizophrenia. Patients with schizophrenia who experience neurocognitive deficits often find it difficult to understand nuances and subtleties of interpersonal cues and relationships. These patients also have difficulty concentrating and being attentive, and they are challenged in organizing their thoughts and days. They also are unable to employ abstract reasoning and typically think concretely. For example, upon hearing the expression "people in glass houses should not throw stones," the patient with schizophrenia is likely to respond by saying something such as "it could break the windows." As another example, if a person says to a patient with schizophrenia, "I'll be home when the cows come home," he or she is likely to believe that person will literally come home with cows.

In addition, patients with schizophrenia can have impairments in executive function. They often are unable to make decisions on their own and are unmotivated, demonstrating inertia in their activities.

A loss of interests and motivation and a decrease in emotional range are negative symptoms associated with schizophrenia.

Psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations, which are usually auditory, and delusions are positive symptoms in patients with schizophrenia. Disorganized speech and behavior are other positive symptoms in patients with schizophrenia.

Learn more about the symptoms of schizophrenia.

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