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VERY EARLY AND EARLY ONSET SCHIZOPHRENIA SPECTRUM DISORDERS – DIAGNOSTIC CHALLENGE
Very early onset and early onset schizophrenia – which manifest themselves before the age of 13 (the first) and 18 (the latter) – represent a little explored nosological entity, which entails a genuine diagnostic challenge, considering the specificities of young age. At the same time, childhood and adolescence onset schizophrenia intertwines with a series of neurocognitive development disorders, comprising an important genetic susceptibility. The entire context of its emergence, the difficulty of detecting psychoproductive symptoms during early childhood, the severity of symptoms and the chronicization impose a rigorous diagnostic behaviour and a multidisciplinary approach for optimal long-term therapy and for the socio-professional integration of patients. This paper aims at synthesizing the literature review, which may represent a starting point for ample future research; the purpose is to create specific guides on childhood and adolescence schizophrenia.
Keywords: early onset schizophrenia, very early onset schizophrenia, child and adolescent, neurocognitive development, genetic susceptibility