About 800,000 Germans are affected by the disease. Currently, one year lies between the onset of schizophrenia and the diagnosis. This is also due to current diagnostic procedures.
With its core symptoms of hallucination, delusion and thinking disorders, schizophrenia often has a drastic impact on the lives of 21 million patients worldwide. Even politicians use terms related to schizophrenia as a questionable synonym and completely decoupled from the disease. The following provides an overview of the disease schizophrenia.
Symptoms, epidemiology & course of schizophrenia
Despite the many manifestations of the disease, there are various symptoms that frequently occur in the course of schizophrenia. A distinction is made between positive and negative symptoms. Compared to normal bodily functions, positive symptoms are characterized by an excessive increase, negative symptoms by a decrease. Negative symptoms are, for example, lack of feeling, joylessness or exhaustion. Positive symptoms are delusion, hallucination and thinking disorders.
By far the most common symptom of schizophrenia is madness with 96% probability of occurrence. Delusion is a firm, unshakable belief that is maintained despite undeniable evidence to the contrary. The symptom of madness is thus defined above all by the intransigence and unteachability of the patient. The sick feel persecuted and intercepted, which often leads to anxiety and withdrawal from everyday life. The second characteristic symptom of acute schizophrenia is hallucination with 69% probability of occurrence in the early phase of the disease. Hallucinations are sensory perceptions that occur without adequate stimulation of the corresponding sensory channels. A distinction can be made between acoustic and visual hallucinations. Acoustic hallucinations are much more frequent. Voices or noises are perceived without a person or other medium emitting acoustic signals. The third characteristic symptom is schizophrenia. These affect 38.3% of patients in the early stages of the disease. Thus, sufferers often develop their own thinking systems, which are “encrypted with secret language”.
According to the World Health Organization, about 21 million people are currently affected by schizophrenia. The lifetime risk in Germany of developing psychosis diagnosed as schizophrenia is slightly less than 1%. If one also considers the lighter forms of the disease, the risk rises to about 1.4%. In Germany, about 800,000 people suffer from schizophrenia, with an annual rate of 15,600 new cases. The suicide rate in Germany is about 10%.
The direct and indirect economic costs of schizophrenia are, according to the federal government’s health reporting, in the range of orders of magnitude such as diabetes or cardiovascular diseases. Estimates assume that 2% – 4% of the total costs for health services in Germany are spent annually on schizophrenia. This corresponds to up to 9.2 billion euros annually. While the average inpatient stay of all mental illnesses is 20.8 days per year, that of schizophrenia is 34.9 days. Typically, the first manifestation of schizophrenia occurs in early adulthood. The peak of schizophrenia in men is between the ages of 20 and 24 and in women between the ages of 25 and 29.
Like the occurrence of individual symptoms, the course of the disease is extremely heterogeneous. However, the irregular occurrence of psychotic episodes is characteristic, and the intervals between the episodes themselves are often not symptom-free. There is agreement that the early phase of schizophrenia influences the course of the disease and recovery. Early diagnosis of schizophrenia significantly increases the likelihood of remission.
Diagnosis & visanox
The diagnosis of schizophrenia is mainly based on psychopathology: in a psychiatric interview, symptoms are asked and observed. In order to standardize the diagnosis, common international diagnostic systems were developed. Today, diagnoses are made on the basis of the ICD-10 classification system in Europe and DSM-5 in the Anglo-American region. Within the ICD-10 the chapter “Schizophrenia, schizotypal and delusional disorders” can be found under the designation F20-F29, in which schizophrenia and related disorders are described. The diagnosis takes between one month (ICD-10) and six months (DSM-5).
Visanox offers a completely new method for the diagnosis of schizophrenia. The brain activities of the patients, which are determined by an EEG, are examined for disease patterns using so-called deeplearning methods. Currently, there is one year between the onset of schizophrenia and the correct diagnosis with adequate treatment. However, there is widespread agreement in the scientific community that early diagnosis could massively increase the remission rate, which today is only 20%. The visanox software directly examines the organ affected by schizophrenia. The activities of the brain provide information about a possible disease – the diagnostic accuracy of visanox is over 95%. An examination and possible diagnosis can therefore be carried out within a few hours.
visanox offers the possibility of long-term care for your patients. In this way, risk patients can be examined cyclically for the outbreak of disease. The collected data can be stored anonymously and protected on our servers.