Lists of Prodromal Features of Schizophrenia

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Yung and McGorry [41] and Edwards and McGorry [74] have listed the prodromal features in first-episode psychosis most commonly described in the literature. All these symptoms have also been included in the IRAOS and were assessed in the ABC Schizophrenia Study:

1. reduced concentration and attention;

2. reduced drive and motivation, anergia;

3. depressed mood;

4. sleep disturbances;

5. anxiety;

6. social withdrawal;

7. suspiciousness;

8. deterioration in role-functioning;

9. irritability.

Edwards and McGorry [74] also list the four symptom categories experienced prior to a first or current psychotic episode. They, too, are based on the literature and the authors' own data:

1. Changes in affect: suspiciousness, depression, anxiety, mood swings, feelings of tension, irritability, anger.

2. Changes in cognition: odd ideas, vagueness, difficulties with concentration or recall.

3. Changes in perception of self, of other people, of the world at large.

4. Physical and perceptual changes: sleep disturbances, appetite change, somatic complaints, loss of energy or motivation, perceptual disturbances.

These indicators of the prodromal stage can be informative but, as they are described in a quasi-cross-sectional manner and no information is provided on their frequencies or sequence of emergence, they are not helpful in reconstructing the early illness course.

It was also the McGorry group which brought to our attention the existence of two further types of symptoms in incipient psychosis, i.e. attenuated psychotic symptoms and the rarer BLIPS [41].

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