A Neurodevelopment Approach for a Transitional Model of Early Onset Schizophrenia

Brain Sci. 2021 Feb 23;11(2):275. doi: 10.3390/brainsci11020275.


In the last decades, the conceptualization of schizophrenia has dramatically changed, moving from a neurodegenerative process occurring in early adult life to a neurodevelopmental disorder starting be-fore birth, showing a variety of premorbid and prodromal symptoms and, in relatively few cases, evolving in the full-blown psychotic syndrome. High rates of co-occurring different neurodevelopmental disorders such as Autism spectrum disorder and ADHD, predating the onset of SCZ, and neurobio-logical underpinning with significant similarities, support the notion of a pan-developmental disturbance consisting of impairments in neuromotor, receptive language, social and cognitive development. Con-sidering that many SCZ risk factors may be similar to symptoms of other neurodevelopmental psychi-atric disorders, transition processes from child & adolescent to adult systems of care should include both high risk people as well as subject with other neurodevelopmental psychiatric disorders with different levels of severity. This descriptive mini-review discuss the need of innovative clinical approaches, re-considering specific diagnostic categories, stimulating a careful analysis of risk factors and promoting the appropriate use of new and safer medications.

Keywords: ADHD; autism; schizophrenia; transitional psychiatry.

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  • Review

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