Schizophrenia – B. Pharma 2nd Semester Pathophysiology notes pdf




At the end of this lecture, student will be able to

         Identify the symptoms of Schizophrenia

         Explain the etiology of schizophrenia

         Describe the symptoms associated with schizophrenia

         Discuss the mechanism involved the development of schizophrenia


Schizophrenia is a complex and enigmatic mental disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. In this article, we will unravel the mysteries of schizophrenia, exploring its symptoms, etiology, associated manifestations, and the mechanisms behind its development.

Psychotic disorder

Severe mental disorder in which thinking and emotion are so impaired that the individual is seriously out of contact with reality

Disturbance that last for at least 6 months or longer including 1 month of delusions, hallucination, disorganized speech, behavior or negative symptom

Types of Schizophrenia

Paranoid Schizophrenia

       Small delusions & hallucination

Dis organised/ Hebphrenic schizophrenia

       Confused & disorganized pattern of speech, thought & behavior

Catatonic schizophrenia

       Abnormal posture & movement

Undifferentiated schizophrenia

Residual schizophrenia

       No severity of symptoms

Symptoms in Schizophrenia

       Positive symptoms

                                Excesses / bizarre additions to normal thoughts, emotions or behaviors

       Negative symptoms

                                Deficits in normal thoughts, emotions, or behaviors

       Cognitive dysfunction

                                Abnormalities in attention, working memory and executive function

Positive Symptoms

       Distortions or excesses of normal functioning

                – Delusions

– Hallucinations

– Disorganized thinking and speech

– Inappropriate affect

•     Positive symptoms are generally more responsive to treatment than negative symptoms

Negative Symptoms

       Introvert behaviour

       Thought disorder with irrational conclusion

       Garbled sentences

       Lack of motivation

       Poor socialization

       Emotional blunting

Types of Negative Symptoms

• Poverty of speech or Alogia

• Blunted and flat affect or Flat affect

• Loss of volition or Avolition

• Social withdrawal or Anhedonia

• Psychomotor symptoms or Catatonia

Symptoms-in-Schizophrenia, Symptoms-of-Schizophrenia,

Etiology of Schizophrenia


       Imbalance of neurotransmitter in brain

       Brain damage

       Environmental influence

       Viral attack

Pathogenesis of Schizophrenia

       From dopaminergic symptoms

       Dopamine – inhibitory NT

       Precursor for adrenaline & NA

       Dopamine pathway involved in schizophrenia

      Mesolimbic dopamine pathway

      Mesocortic pathway

      Nigrastriatal pathway

       Increased activity of nigrostriatal region & mesolimbic

       Decreased activity of mesocortical tract

       Overfiring of neurons


       Serotonergic pathway also involved


       Severe mental disorder in which thinking and emotion are so impaired that the individual is seriously out of contact with reality

       Symptoms of schizophrenia are categorized as primary, secondary and cognitive dysfunction

       Pathogenesis of schizophrenia is due to the imbalance and over excitation of certain NT


Q1: Is schizophrenia curable?

Schizophrenia is not curable, but it can be managed effectively with medication, therapy, and support.

Q2: Can schizophrenia be passed down through generations?

There is a genetic component to schizophrenia, and a family history of the disorder increases the risk.

Q3: Are all people with schizophrenia violent?

No, the majority of individuals with schizophrenia are not violent. Violent behavior is more often associated with factors such as substance abuse and a history of violence.

Q4: What are the available treatments for schizophrenia?

Treatment options include antipsychotic medications, therapy, and support programs tailored to the individual’s needs.

Q5: Can someone with schizophrenia lead a productive life?

Yes, many individuals with schizophrenia can lead fulfilling and productive lives with the appropriate treatment and support.

Q6: Can schizophrenia develop at any age?

Schizophrenia most commonly emerges in late adolescence or early adulthood, but it can develop at any age, including childhood or later in life. Early-onset schizophrenia tends to be more severe, while late-onset cases are often associated with other medical conditions.

Q7: Are there different types of schizophrenia?

Yes, there are several subtypes of schizophrenia, including paranoid, disorganized, catatonic, undifferentiated, and residual. Each subtype has specific features and symptom patterns.

Q8: What is the role of family support in managing schizophrenia?

Family support is crucial for individuals with schizophrenia. Loved ones can provide emotional support, help with medication management, and encourage therapy and treatment adherence. Family education programs are available to equip relatives with knowledge and coping strategies.

Q9: Can schizophrenia be misdiagnosed as other mental health conditions?

Yes, schizophrenia can be misdiagnosed, as its symptoms can overlap with other mental health disorders such as bipolar disorder or major depressive disorder. A thorough evaluation by a mental health professional is essential for an accurate diagnosis.

Q10: What is the outlook for individuals with schizophrenia?

The prognosis for individuals with schizophrenia varies. With early diagnosis and effective treatment, many people can lead meaningful lives. However, the course of the illness is unpredictable, and some individuals may experience recurrent episodes or long-term disability. Regular follow-up with a mental health provider is essential for managing the condition.

Q11: Can substance abuse worsen schizophrenia symptoms?

Yes, substance abuse, particularly with drugs like cannabis and stimulants, can exacerbate the symptoms of schizophrenia and make treatment less effective. It’s essential for individuals with schizophrenia to avoid drug and alcohol misuse.

Q12: What is the role of therapy in treating schizophrenia?

Therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and supportive therapy, can be valuable in helping individuals with schizophrenia manage their symptoms, improve social skills, and enhance their quality of life. Therapy can complement medication and provide coping strategies.

Q13: Can people with schizophrenia work or attend school?

Many individuals with schizophrenia can pursue employment or education, depending on the severity of their symptoms and the effectiveness of their treatment. Supported employment and education programs can offer valuable assistance to those seeking to engage in work or school activities.

Q14: What is the impact of schizophrenia on relationships?

Schizophrenia can strain relationships due to the challenges posed by the disorder. Open communication, empathy, and family therapy can help maintain healthy relationships and support for the individual with schizophrenia.

Q15: How can I support a loved one with schizophrenia?

Supporting a loved one with schizophrenia involves educating yourself about the disorder, offering emotional support, encouraging them to adhere to treatment, and participating in their care plan. Joining support groups for families and caregivers can also provide valuable guidance and a sense of community.

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