Author | Jonathan B. Jensen, MD

Articles

Atypical Antipsychotics for Children and Adolescents With Schizophrenia-Spectrum Disorders

August 11, 2009

Although the onset of psychotic symptoms before the age of 13 years is exceedingly rare, the incidence of schizophrenia rises sharply after the onset of puberty.1 Only 1% of the population has schizophrenia and 30% of these patients experience an onset of psychotic symptoms by age 18 years.2-8 The period that precedes the onset of frank psychotic symptoms (ie, the prodromal phase) has not been well characterized in early-onset schizophrenia-spectrum disorders (EOSS), but retrospective reports have shown that symptoms include high levels of depression and anxiety, emerging cognitive and social deficits, unusual thought content, and (not infrequently) school failure.