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J Psychiatr Pract. 2001 Jul;7(4):247-52.

The origin and course of schizophrenia: implications for clinical practice.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland.


The authors first review current evidence concerning abnormalities of brain structure and function in schizophrenia and interpret them within a "network" pathophysiological model of the disorder. This information is then placed within a contemporary neurodevelopmental framework that "roots" the illness in adverse events during early pregnancy, which result in a developmentally compromised nervous system. They then consider the controversy as to whether the subsequent expression of psychosis reflects an active morbid process and, in a more general sense, whether the disorder is characterized by subsequent progression and clinical deterioration. The authors argue that the developmental and progressive models should not be considered in an either-or manner, since this perspective is not logical and favors nihilistic approaches to intervention and treatment, but rather should be integrated within a lifetime trajectory model. Finally, implications for current psychiatric practice are considered.

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