Schizophreniform Disorder

Schizophreniform disorder has similar diagnostic criteria to schizophrenia, except that the disorder is present for more than 1 month and less than 6 months. (Schizophrenia is diagnosed if there is evidence of a disorder for more than 6 months.) Patients with this disorder will return to normal functioning after the disorder resolves.

This disorder is distinct from schizophrenia and little is known about the incidence and gender distribution of this illness. It is disorder is common in young adults. Relatives of patients with schizophreniform disorder have an increased rate of having mood disorders, compared with schizophrenia patient relatives who will have increased rates of psychotic disorders.

The cause of this disorder is unknown. Data is divided between suggesting links to mood disorders and schizophrenia.

The typical presentation of is acute onset of a psychotic disorder without much of a prodromal period. Positive symptoms may be accompanied by negative symptoms. Flat affect and perplexity are seen as poor prognostic signs. Good prognostic signs are acute onset of psychotic state, confusion or perpexity at the height of the psychotic state, good premorbid functioning, and the absence of blunt or flat affect

Though rare, the clinical presentation can also be insiduous and resemble schizophrenia.

In schizophreniform disorder, the patient will return to normal premorbid functioning within 6 months.

In terms of the natural course, most patients will progress to schizophrenia. Some will develop a second schizophreniform episode before developing schizophrenia. A small minority will only have one episode of psychosis.

The treatment of is similar to schizophrenia. Sometimes hospitalisation is required. Patients will usually respond much quicker to antipsychotics than schizophrenia patients, usually within days. Someimes psychotherapy or ECT is required.