Negative Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Authors: R. Přikryl;  H. Kučerová
Authors‘ workplace: Psychiatrická klinika LF MU a FN, Brno přednostka prof. MUDr. E. Češková, CSc.
Published in: Čes. a slov. Psychiat., 104, 2008, No. 7, pp. 350-357.
Category: Comprehensive Reports


Together with cognitive deficit, negative symptoms are regarded as forming the core part of schizophrenia. The neurobiological mechanisms underlying positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia seem to differ. While the etiopathogenesis of negative symptoms is described in terms of impairment of specific brain areas, the causes for positive symptoms are being associated with an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain. Unlike positive symptoms, negative symptoms affect the social and work involvement of patients including their overall quality of life to a much greater extent. Flattened emotions, impaired speech, anhedonia, lack of will or psychomotor slowdown continue to impair the patients’ skills even after the positive symptoms have been removed. The greater severity of negative symptoms in the initial stages contributes to the severity of the illness, too. Although the extent to which negative symptoms can be alleviated using the second generation antipsychotics is greater than it was for the first generation antipsychotics, it is regarded as clinically unsatisfactory. The insufficient effect of therapy on negative symptoms is currently regarded as one of the greatest issues in treatment of schizophrenia.

Key words:
cognitive deficit, negative symptoms, schizophrenia.


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