Schizophrenia is a psychiatric, mental disease characterized by disorders of thinking, perception and affection.

The global, lifetime prevalence of Sch is about 1% and it is even higher in developed countries. It typically affects young adults, who already have a mother, father, or sibling with schizophrenia or are addicted to alcohol or drugs. Because of a high suicide rate of about 10% and increased physical health problems their lifespan is approximately 20 years shorter than the average in industrialized populations,.

The positive symptoms (those that most individuals normally do not experience) are hallucination, paranoia, delusions and disorganized speech and behavior. Negative symptoms (decrease in or loss of normal functions) include loss of motivation and relationships, flat affect and emotions and inability to feel pleasure.

The positive symptoms respond well to antipsychotic medication in contrast to the negative symptoms. The typical (class) or atypical antipsychotics are the first-line therapy in the acute phase as well as in the long-term therapy. The extrapyramidal side effects of the typical antipsychotics and the considerable weight gain, diabetes and risk of metabolic syndrome of the atypicals have to be weighted up.

Other adjuvant medications, which especially reduce the negative symptoms, are benzodiazepines, anticonvulsants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) and Tricyclic antidepressants.

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