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J Psychiatry Neurosci. 1991 Mar;16(1):12-8.

Negative symptoms: psychopathological models.

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  • 1Harbor UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, CA.


The psychopathological manifestations of schizophrenia have been broadly divided into positive and negative symptom groups. Even though there is no definitive consensus, psychomotor agitation, motor excitement, hallucinations, delusions and thought disorder constitute positive and psychomotor retardation, amotivation, apathy and decreased emotional expression are grouped into negative symptoms. The negative symptoms have been reported to appear late in the course of the illness and resistant to treatment with neuroleptics. While these claims have not been substantiated, the current interest on negative symptoms is related to the fact that many nonfunctioning institutionalized as well as ambulatory schizophrenics manifest negative symptoms. As chronic psychiatric beds have become scarce, many patients with negative symptoms who were harbored in the chronic mental hospitals have been released to the community care and some of these patients live on the streets. Thus their visibility has challenged psychiatry to focus its efforts on the etiology and treatment of negative symptoms.

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