Schizoaffective Disorder (cont.)
Roxanne Dryden-Edwards, MD
Dr. Roxanne Dryden-Edwards is an adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist. She is a former Chair of the Committee on Developmental Disabilities for the American Psychiatric Association, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and Medical Director of the National Center for Children and Families in Bethesda, Maryland.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- Schizoaffective disorder facts
- What is schizoaffective disorder?
- What are the different types of schizoaffective disorder?
- What are causes and risk factors for schizoaffective disorder?
- What are schizoaffective disorder symptoms and signs?
- How can schizoaffective disorder be diagnosed?
- What are criteria for diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder?
- What is the treatment for schizoaffective disorder?
- What are complications of schizoaffective disorder?
- What is the prognosis of schizoaffective disorder?
- Can schizoaffective disorder be prevented?
- Are there support groups for schizoaffective disorder?
- Where can people find more information on schizoaffective disorder?
- Find a local Psychiatrist in your town
What are causes and risk factors for schizoaffective disorder?
As with the vast majority of mental disorders, there is not thought to be a specific cause for schizoaffective disorder. Two-thirds of people who develop the illness are women. An immediate family history of schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia is a risk factor for developing schizoaffective disorder. Developing schizoaffective disorder or another psychotic illness is more than twice as likely in children who suffer significant adversity like bullying, abuse, neglect, or parental death during that time of their lives.
What are schizoaffective disorder symptoms and signs?
The symptoms and signs of schizoaffective disorder include those of schizophrenia combined with major depressive disorder and/or a manic episode. Symptoms of schizophrenia may include the following:
- Hallucinations, like hearing voices, seeing, feeling, tasting, or smelling things that are not there
- Delusions are ways of thinking with no basis in reality. Types of delusions include paranoid/persecutory, religious, erotic, grandiose, jealous, body (somatic), or mixed (more than one) types
- Disorganized speech
- Severely disorganized or catatonic behaviors
- Negative symptoms, like the decrease or absence of speech (alogia), emotional expression, or movement
Similar to schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder is associated with impairments in memory, changing attention, thinking abstractly, and planning. However, people with schizoaffective disorder tend to have better cognitive functioning compared to people with schizophrenia. In terms of brain structure, individuals with schizoaffective disorder tend to have smaller brain volumes compared to the general population, particularly in certain areas of the brain.
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