"The research will be able to detect the most appropriate drugs according to the genetic profile, with better response to treatment and with fewer adverse effects".
DR. FELIPE ORTUÑO SÁNCHEZ-PEDREÑO
CODIRECTOR. PSYCHIATRY AND CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY DEPARTMENT
Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness. It is a brain disorder that impairs people's ability in many different psychological aspects such as thinking, perception, emotions or will.
Precisely because of its deteriorating character, and because it was observed to start at very early ages, it was called "early dementia" for a time. Later this denomination was replaced by the one of schizophrenia, as we call it at the moment, and that etymologically means "split mind". With this term, we wanted to emphasize the alterations in thought that these patients present.
Schizophrenia is a disease that presents many and varied symptoms but none are specific to it, but may also be present in other mental disorders. In addition, the symptoms are mostly subjective, that is, only the patient experiences them, so they cannot be proven.
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What are the symptoms of schizophrenia?
The most characteristic symptoms of the disease are
- Delusions: misconceptions of which the patient is convinced. For example, "believing that everyone is against him or that they are trying to harm him".
- Hallucinations: perceiving something that does not exist. For example, hearing voices (that insult him or talk about him), or seeing objects or faces that are not there.
- Thought disorders: the patient's language becomes incomprehensible and fluency is altered.
- Altered sense of self: the person feels that his body is changing, sees himself as strange.
- Deterioration of the emotions: the affectivity is impoverished. It can reach the absence of feelings. Patients are inexpressive and behave coldly towards others.
- Isolation: patients become closed in on themselves and their inner world.
The most common symptoms are:
- Thought disorders.
- Deterioration of emotions.
Do you have any of these symptoms?
You may have schizophrenia
How is schizophrenia diagnosed?
El diagnóstico de la esquizofrenia se basa en la cuidadosa observación de signos y síntomas, en la exploración metódica de las vivencias de una persona y en la acumulación de antecedentes desde todas las fuentes posibles: familia, amigos, vecinos, trabajo.
No existen pruebas de laboratorio ni exámenes de imágenes que ayuden a establecer el diagnóstico, como no sea para descartar otras enfermedades.
Se tiende a realizar la valoración en función de la predominancia de síntomas positivos o negativos y, sobre todo, a medir la intensidad de cada uno de estos síntomas mediante cuestionarios y escalas. Ello permite evaluar al paciente en diversos momentos de su evolución, así como la efectividad de los tratamientos.
How is schizophrenia treated?
Currently schizophrenia is treated primarily with certain medications, called neuroleptics or antipsychotics, which have the ability to correct imbalances in neurotransmitters.
Two types of antipsychotics are differentiated: the classic ones (like chlorpromazine, haloperidol or thioridazine) and other more recent ones that are called atypical neuroleptics (clozapine, risperidone, olanzapine, ziprasidone or quetiapine). The latter have the advantage of producing fewer side effects.
In very specific cases such as poor response to drug treatment, with serious risk of suicide or aggression towards others, treatment with electroshock may be indicated in the subtype of catatonic schizophrenia.
Psychosocial therapy is intended to keep the patient busy and active.
Psychosocial therapy requires assistance mechanisms such as occupational workshops, day centers, mental health centers and self-help groups.
The dialogue between the patient with schizophrenia and the doctor can be an important therapeutic instrument, if it has as its purpose that the patient knows his pathology, and he is taught to live with it and to use his own psychological and other people's resources -family, friends, support-, to get closer to his environment.
On the other hand, it is important that the psychiatrist informs both the patient and the family members with whom he lives about the symptomatic characteristics of the illness and helps them to distinguish how they have manifested themselves in their particular case, with a view to preventing or intervening promptly in the event of a flare-up.
What clinical trials do we have on Schizophrenia?
Where do we treat it?
IN NAVARRE AND MADRID
The Department of Psychiatry and Medical Psychology of the
of the Clínica Universidad de Navarra
Through a multidisciplinary work, the Department of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology assists patients in a comprehensive way: it identifies the main causes of the disease and provides an individual approach with the most appropriate and effective treatments.
Thanks to the experience of its team, it is able to offer the most advanced biological therapies, as well as an adequate psychotherapeutic orientation. In this way, the patient is helped to solve both personality problems and alterations in interpersonal and family dynamics.
Organized in specialized units
Why at the Clinica?
- Integral evaluation of the patient.
- Personalized diagnosis.
- Multidisciplinary team.