Symptomatic Presentation and Initial Treatment for Schizophrenia in Children and Adolescents




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Childhood-onset schizophrenia is a rare variant of adult-onset schizophrenia. Patients with early-onset schizophrenia typically have a more chronic course of illness, greater cognitive impairment, increased negative symptoms, and more severe social consequences than patients with adult-onset schizophrenia. Misdiagnosis of childhood-onset schizophrenia is common, but certain clinical features, such as predominant negative symptoms and premorbid developmental abnormalities, can help to differentiate the disorder from other psychiatric disorders in childhood. Treatment regimens that include both pharmacotherapy and psychosocial interventions are needed to comprehensively treat children and adolescents with schizophrenia.

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J Clin Psychiatry 2010;71(11):e29