The schizophrenia spectrum disorders are a group of psychiatric diagnoses that share several clinical features, typically involving reality distortion. Each is considered a disorder, diagnosed with a distinct set of diagnostic criteria. Spectrum conveys the idea that they are somehow similar to each other. Such similarity could be defined on purely clinical grounds or at the level of disease mechanism and aetiology. It is this tension of distinctiveness and similarity that makes the scientific study of the schizophrenia spectrum disorders challenging.
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