Wednesday, August 09, 2023

Paraphrenia: Characteristics and Differences

Paraphrenia constitutes a mental condition denoting a persistent psychotic disorder marked by a robust delusional aspect, all while maintaining cognitive faculties and personality traits. This disorder commonly arises after the age of 40.

Paraphrenia shares resemblances with schizophrenia, albeit usually being less severe in terms of deterioration of one's personality. It typically manifests during the later phases of life, rendering it more prevalent among the elderly. Although the precise prevalence rate remains uncertain, indications propose that paraphrenia occurs only approximately one-tenth as frequently as schizophrenia within inpatient populations.

In 1913, Emil Kraepelin introduced the term "paraphrenia" to characterize a chronic psychotic disorder reminiscent of dementia praecox. This condition encompasses a strong delusional element, yet with better-preserved emotional displays and devoid of disruptions in volition.

Several years after Kraepelin's definition, Mayer-Gross issued a report concluding that individuals diagnosed with paraphrenia gradually transitioned to an alternative diagnosis. This implied that the differentiation between paraphrenia and schizophrenia lacked a solid foundation.

Late-stage paraphrenia patients generally make their debut in old age with persecutory delusions, auditory and/or visual hallucinations, as well as Schneiderian first-rank symptoms. Additional manifestations such as delusions of reference, hypochondriasis, grandiosity, misidentification syndromes, and hallucinations involving other senses may also emerge. Affective symptoms are concurrently present in up to 60% of instances.

Individuals affected by paraphrenia similarly encounter what are termed as the "positive" symptoms associated with schizophrenia. However, it does not encompass the "negative" or "cognitive" symptoms linked to schizophrenia that influence an individual's demeanor, emotions, and cognitive processes.
Paraphrenia: Characteristics and Differences

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