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Neurobiology and the Natural History of Schizophrenia

Jeffrey A. Lieberman

Published: October 1, 2006

Article Abstract

Schizophrenia follows afairly consistent natural history and longitudinal course of illness, and itcan be described in the context of four specific clinical stages—the premorbid,prodromal, deterioration, and chronic/residual stages. Many patients treated intheir first episode of schizophrenia respond well to treatment and achieve somesymptom remission and level of recovery, but recurrent episodes, often broughton by treatment nonadherence or insufficient treatment, lead to moresubstantial and lasting neurologic deterioration. This presentation describesthe clinical stages of schizophrenia and discusses the possibility forprevention of clinical deterioration with early detection and treatment of theillness and sustained maintenance treatment after episodic remission.

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