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Chemistry, physiology and neuropsychology of schizophrenia: towards an earlier diagnosis of schizophrenia I.


Data supporting the glutamate hypothesis of schizophrenia are presented. The glutamate hypothesis is linked to the dopamine hypothesis by the fact that dopamine synapses inhibit the release of glutamate in the striate and mesolimbic system. The glutamate hypothesis of schizophrenia may open a way to find better drugs for treatment. The concept of schizophrenia I is described. It consists of "negative symptoms" such as disconcentration or reduction of energy. Schizophrenia I precedes and follows schizophrenia II with "positive symptoms," e.g. hallucinations and delusions. Schizophrenia I so far cannot be diagnosed as schizophrenia unless schizophrenia II appears. Chemical, physiological or neuropsychological methods for the diagnosis of schizophrenia I would render an earlier treatment of schizophrenia possible and thus make social and occupational rehabilitation more efficient. An objective diagnosis of schizophrenia I may also elucidate the mode of genetic transmission of schizophrenia. Several neuropsychological methods distinguish schizophrenic patients as a group from normals. Some of them are based on a specific disturbance of long term concentration. The EEG also distinguishes schizophrenics from normals when analyzed during voluntary movement. For schizophrenics it takes more effort to initiate a voluntary movement, and there are several features of the EEG correlated to this. Moreover, the longer motor reaction time of schizophrenics is paralleled by a longer duration of the Bereitschaftspotential in schizophrenia. Furthermore, there is a difference in the theta rhythm between schizophrenic patients and normals in a task which requires concentration. Some of the children of schizophrenic parents show a disturbance of concentration in both reaction time tasks and the d 2 test.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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