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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.
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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: 2006-11-01

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