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Basic symptoms in deficit states and their relation to negative symptoms 

Basic symptoms in deficit states and their relation to negative symptoms
Basic symptoms in deficit states and their relation to negative symptoms

Frauke Schultze-Lutter

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date: 02 July 2022

Basic symptoms are subtle, subjectively experienced disturbances in mental processes including thinking, speech, attention, perception, drive, stress tolerance, and affect, originally described by Gerd Huber. Basic symptoms are present in prodromal, psychotic, and residual/deficit states of schizophrenia and have been conceptualized as the most immediate psychopathological expression of the neurobiological abnormalities underlying the development and persistence of psychosis. Basic symptoms are currently mostly recognized for their potential to detect psychosis prior to the first psychotic episode and, thus, for their ability to herald persistent positive symptoms. Although initially described to facilitate understanding of deficit states in schizophrenia, their contribution to negative symptoms has less been studied, although the evaluation of basic symptoms helps in improving understanding of the psychopathology—including differentiation of primary and secondary negative symptoms—and course of schizophrenia and in planning better treatment.

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