Frontal lobe syndrome or adolescent-onset schizophrenia? A case report

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Ferrara M, Freda F, Massa R, Carratelli TJ. Frontal lobe syndrome or adolescent-onset schizophrenia? A case report. Objective: 

To highlight the difficulties that abound in making a clinical distinction between early-onset schizophrenia (EOS) and juvenile frontal dementia early in the course of illness. Method: 

Clinical information and data from investigations in single case was collated and reviewed. Results: 

A 15-year-old girl was admitted to our psychiatric unit because of cognitive decline and formal thought disorder with echopraxia, echolalia and palilalia, and a lack of flexibility in the use of cognitive and motor strategies that culminated in psychosis. A single photon emission computerized tomography scan showed marked frontal lobe hypoperfusion; however, on proton spectroscopy there was no differential in N-acetyl aspartate levels. Conclusion: 

Hypofrontality in EOS is well established and the association of frontal functional alterations, neuropsychological impairment and psychotic symptomatology is suggestive of frontal lobe prodrome that precedes the onset of psychosis.

Keywords: adolescent; frontal lobe; neuropsychology; schizophrenia

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Child Neurology and Psychiatry 2: Division of Nuclear Medicine, Department of Radiology, University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’, Roma, Italy

Publication date: November 1, 2006

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