Psychotic disorders are severe psychiatric conditions which are characterised by losses, namely the loss of touch with reality during which the patient may often experience auditory hallucinations, persecutory delusions, and which are often accompanied by a crippling loss of awareness about the need for treatment and ensuing social disability. The paradigmatic example of a psychotic disorder is schizophrenia which occurs in 1% of the population and the patient often suffers from a loss of ability to plan, work and not infrequently, a loss of interpersonal relationships in the longer term. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), schizophrenia lists amongst the top 10 leading causes of years lost to disability worldwide, and is one of the medical conditions with the highest disability weights. Due to the huge burden of illness for both patients and carers, there is a pressing need to better understand its underlying neurobiology so as to inform and hopefully reform treatment of these incapacitating conditions.
This article is available only as a PDF. Please click on “Download PDF” on top to view the full article.