ABC Medical Center > Schizophrenia

What is Schizophrenia?

21:54 - 4 May , 2021


It is a serious mental illness in which the patient has a distorted perception of reality, so their behavior, feelings, and thoughts are tied to that altered reality and misconstrued as truthful, producing visual and auditory hallucinogenic episodes, delirium, and paranoia, which seriously affect its life and, if left untreated, can become incapacitating.

Although it is an incurable disease, it can be controlled through lifelong treatment and monitoring to adapt it according to the patient’s evolution and needs. The earlier the diagnosis and treatment, the less damage and complications, in addition to having more effective control of the symptoms.

The origin of schizophrenia remains a mystery, however, neurotransmitters such as dopamine and glutamate are considered potentiating factors, which by acting disorderly produce brain chemistry alteration, coupled with a genetic predisposition and environmental aspects that also contribute to the onset of this disease.

Potential risks:

Some factors have been identified that alone or combined, may contribute to the development of this disorder:

  • Malnutrition, viral infections, or absorption of toxins in pregnancy that prevent the baby’s brain from developing normally.
  • Having used psychotropic drugs for a long time.
  • Having family members who have had this disease.

In case of not receiving treatment, complications begin to appear seriously affecting the patient’s life, such as:

  • Anxiety and depression episodes that progressively increase in frequency and intensity.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  • Alcoholism and drug addiction.
  • Dropping school and jobs.
  • Social isolation.
  • Physical health complications.
  • Suicide.

Signs and symptoms Schizophrenia

Although symptoms vary for each specific case, they are cognitive symptoms that regularly appear as follows:

  • Hallucinogenic episodes: they can happen in many ways and be perceived through one or several senses, although the most frequent hallucination is auditory, that is, the patient hears voices.
  • Fantasy thinking: these are false ideas created by the patient that they consider to be true. 
  • Thought and communication disorder: mental chaos is manifested from disordered and meaningless speech.
  • Carelessness and lack of interest: the patient loses interest in all kinds of activities that they used to like, begins to have poor personal hygiene, and is not interested in socializing, becoming apathetic and insensitive to almost everything. 

The disorder usually appears in men between the ages of 20 and 25, while in women it appears between the ages of 25 and 30. Likewise, it is a disease of little diagnostic frequency in children and adults over 40 years old.  

Diagnosis and treatment Schizophrenia

To establish a diagnosis, it is often necessary to rule out other conditions that could be present, but the required procedures are usually a physical examination, imaging studies such as tomography and MRI, and a psychiatric evaluation.

Once the diagnosis is established, the lifetime treatment to be followed will be decided to control the symptoms and help the patient have a normal life as possible, which includes drugs, and psychological and social therapy. In cases of schizophrenia causing very severe symptoms, it will be necessary to admit the patient to a specialized clinic while the symptoms are controlled, receiving care from a multidisciplinary team that may involve psychiatrists specialized in schizophrenia, psychologists, neurologists, social counselors, and psychiatric nurses.

At the Neurology Center, a select group of highly trained and certified doctors in various neurological specialties is ready to assist you with the quality and warmth that characterizes us.

Our mission is to provide you with comprehensive and multidisciplinary care programs for preventing, diagnosing, treating, and rehabilitating nervous system diseases, always focusing on your safety.

Nervous system specialties

  • Neurology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Spine surgery
  • Pediatric neurosurgery
  • Neurophysiology
  • Neuro-rehabilitation
  • Neuro-pathology
  • Interventional neuro-radiology
  • Neuropsychology
  • Neuro-oncology
  • Neuro-otology
  • Epilepsy
  • Neuro-ophthalmology
  • Neuroimaging


  • Ruiz JC, Fuentes I, Dasi C, et al. Gender differences on the WAIS-IV in patients with schizophrenia. Salud Mental. 2021;44(1):17-23.
  • Sotolongo LJC, Hernández LE, Camacho RY, et al. Estimación del riesgo cardiovascular en pacientes con esquizofrenia. Revista de Ciencias Médicas de la Habana. 2020;27(2):176-186.
  • Suárez-Salazar JV, Fresán-Orellana A, Saracco-Álvarez RA. Facial emotion recognition and its association with symptom severity, functionality, and cognitive impairment in schizophrenia: preliminary results. Salud Mental. 2020;43(3):105-112.
  • Cabello-Rangel H, Díaz-Castro L, Pineda-Antúnez C. Cost-effectiveness analysis of interventions to achieve universal health coverage for schizophrenia in Mexico. Salud Mental. 2020;43(2):65-71.

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