Positive and Negative Syndromes in Chronic Schizophrenic Inpatients

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This study considered whether chronic schizophrenics with positive and negative syndromes represent distinct subtypes. From a survey of 47 schizophrenic inpatients, 18 showed preponderance of productive or deficit features, and four were mixed. The discrete groups were compared on clinical symptoms, cognitive tests, demographic and historical data, and drug side effects. They were significantly distinguished on most criterion symptoms and affect scales but, otherwise, essentially comparable in psychopathology and extrapyramidal symptoms. The tests revealed similar levels of intellectual impairment and visual-motor deficit, yet the negative patients displayed more primitive cognitive mode and greater psychomotor retardation. They also proved older, less educated, more often born in wintertime, hospitalized later in life, and less heavily medicated. The results supported the validity of the positive-negative dimension for identifying schizophrenic subtypes and suggested etiological implications regarding developmental deficiency.

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