Schizophrenia and neurological disorders
Many patients with schizophrenia have neurological symptoms. They can be identified using special scales and be one of the markers of schizophrenia. Neurological disorders are a manifestation of negative symptoms and cognitive deficits. Do not depend on age, side effects of drugs. Most likely, they are under the control of genes. The study of the localization of foci of brain damage in patients with schizophrenia allows us to hypothesize that schizophrenia is a heterogeneous disease consisting of several diseases. Severe neurological symptoms reflect impairment of the motor, sensory, and reflex areas. Mild neurological disorders are not associated with damage to a specific area of the brain and are not part of the neurological syndrome.
Patients with schizophrenia often have mild neurologic symptoms. They are measured on the Heidelberg scale. The number of points scored on the scale is associated with the duration of the illness, defect in thinking, apathy, and positive syndromes. The Heidelberg scale consists of sixteen items describing five factors – coordination of movement, sensory integration, performance of motor tasks, spatial orientation and more severe neurological signs.
Minor neurological symptoms correlate with long-term chronic schizophrenia and apathy. These neurological symptoms diminish as the symptoms of acute psychosis subside and are observed for up to five years after the onset of schizophrenia. This suggests that changes in the brain are the cause of neurological disorders. Patients with schizophrenia age at an accelerated rate, as their cognitive processes are impaired and somatic diseases develop at an earlier age. Even apathy can be viewed as a syndrome of organic brain damage rather than a sign of a negative syndrome. High scores on the Heiderberg scale in patients with schizophrenia are also associated with a low level of education, professional skills, reflecting cognitive deficits.
Correct diagnosis and treatment of schizophrenia by psychiatrists is impossible without knowledge of the etiology of the disease and understanding the causes of neurological symptoms. But this understanding is formed on the border of psychiatry and neurology.