Blackman G., MacCabe JH.
Schizophrenia is a severe mental illness affecting several domains of cognition and behaviour. The illness commonly manifests in early adulthood and often follows a chronic course. It is associated with a high degree of morbidity and mortality, and is a leading contributor to disease burden and health and social care costs throughout the world. Antipsychotics are the mainstay of treatment but are limited by significant adverse effects, and therapeutic options for many patients remain inadequate. Schizophrenia is associated with a range of adverse physical health outcomes, which can be compounded by lifestyle factors, barriers to health and social care, and the adverse effects of treatment. Psychological and social interventions are a crucial element of care, particularly in alleviating negative psychotic symptoms. Current theories view schizophrenia as a disorder of early brain development, with interacting genetic and environmental risk factors.