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(p. 99) Defining Schizophrenia 

(p. 99) Defining Schizophrenia
Chapter:
(p. 99) Defining Schizophrenia
Author(s):

Raquel E. Gur

, Ruben C. Gur

, Matcheri S. Keshavan

, Christian Kohler

, and Elaine Walker

DOI:
10.1093/med-psych/9780199928163.003.0005
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date: 18 July 2018

This chapter begins by describing exactly what schizophrenia is. It also defines what is meant by adolescent and adult in terms of this condition. It goes on to look at the diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia. It then considers the relationship of phenomenology to neural mechanisms. Finally, it looks at the use of phenomenology to assist in identifying the phenotype for genetic studies. Research into this area is continuous. However, some early trends are noteworthy. Some potential gene discoveries have now been replicated enough times that it is increasingly unlikely that they are false positive findings. We can also expect that the biochemical pathways represented by these genes will be explored at the level of basic cell biology and new leads about pathogenesis and potential new targets for prevention and treatment will be found. In addition, we should expect a number of studies to emerge that will try to understand whether expression of these genes are changed in the brains of schizophrenia patients. Also, efforts are already underway to try to understand how these genes influence psychological functions such as attention, sensory gating, and memory that are disturbed in schizophrenia. Finally, intense efforts will be made to try to determine whether these different genes are acting through a common pathway as, for example, has been postulated for the known genes for Alzheimer's disease.

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