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Simple Schizophrenia

A Forgotten Diagnosis in Psychiatry

Lally, John MB, MSc, MRCPsych*,†,‡; Maloudi, Sarah BSc; Krivoy, Amir MD§; Murphy, Kieran C. M Med, Sci, PhD, FRCPI, FRCPsych

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: September 2019 - Volume 207 - Issue 9 - p 721–725
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000936
Review Articles

Clustering of symptoms to characterize simple schizophrenia is still debated, and support is needed for the characterization of simple schizophrenia as a syndrome. We conducted a systematic review to identify all cases of simple schizophrenia published until December 2017. We identified 42 cases of simple schizophrenia, 57% of which met all three diagnostic criteria (ICD-10, DSM-4 research criteria, and Black and Boffeli's criteria for simple schizophrenia). The mean age at first contact with clinical services was 30.1 (SD = 11.6) years, with a mean delay of 7.4 (SD = 6.8) years from symptom onset to first presentation. An insidious onset and negative symptoms were characteristic features in all cases. Social withdrawal, alogia, blunted affect, lack of initiative/interest, and functional impairment were found in more than 85% of cases. Our findings contribute to greater awareness and understanding of simple schizophrenia, and have the potential to reawaken interest in this clinically distinct subgroup.

*Department of Psychosis Studies, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, United Kingdom

Department of Psychiatry, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Beaumont Hospital

Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine and Medical Sciences, University College Dublin, St Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland

§Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Ramat-Aviv, Israel.

Send reprint requests to John Lally, MB, MSc, MRCPsych, Department of Psychosis Studies, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, PO63, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, United Kingdom. E-mail:

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Online date: May 15, 2019

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