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Brain Function and Psychotropic Drugs$
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Heather Ashton

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780192622426

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192622426.001.0001

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Schizophrenia: clinical features and brain mechanisms

Schizophrenia: clinical features and brain mechanisms

(p.280) (p.281) 13. Schizophrenia: clinical features and brain mechanisms
Brain Function and Psychotropic Drugs

Heather Ashton

Oxford University Press

Schizophrenia is to many the most fascinating and elusive of medical disorders. The strangeness of its psychiatric manifestations, particularly the thought distortion and the flatness or inappropriateness of affect, seems to set them apart from common experience. Yet, like the affective syndromes, schizophrenia merges with the normal condition and with other psychiatric states. As in depression and mania, the seat of dysfunction is probably the limbic system and involves many brain systems. The aetiology is probably multiple, but in spite of a plethora of theories, the cellular mechanism remains obscure. However, there is growing evidence that schizophrenia is an organic psychosis associated with structural pathology in the brain.

Keywords:   schizophrenia, limbic system, cellular mechanism, organic psychosis, structural pathology, thought distortion, affect

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