Schizophrenia is a chronic debilitating disease to the individuals and families it affects. Despite the incidence of schizophrenia being relatively low schizophrenia is also a major contributor to the global burden of disease. This substantial burden stems from two critical features, the early onset of the disorder and the large proportion of individuals who experience persisting or fluctuating incapacitating symptoms despite receiving treatments. Individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia usually experience a combination of symptoms which can be categorized into three broad categories, negative, positive, and cognitive symptoms. Psychotic behaviors not seen in healthy people such as person experiencing hallucinations which would include hearing voices, delusions, patterns of disorganized speech and abnormal motor behavior can be categorized as positive symptoms. Negative symptoms are associated with disruptions in what would be considered as normal behavior or emotional reactions. These symptoms would include an individual showing a lack of pleasure in everyday life, ability to start and complete simple tasks efficiently and projecting a dull or monotonous voice while speaking. Cognitive symptoms are more subtle in presentation and can include an individual unable to perform simple cerebral tasks including the inability to process information or focus and pay attention. Although schizophrenia been researched for decades, its etiology and pathogenesis remains ambiguous.
There is a considerable amount of data available pertaining to the epidemiology of schizophrenia. In an effort to summarize the large volumes of information into a meaningful and concise context, results from studies pooled and analyze...
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