It is sometimes difficult to distinguish late-life schizophrenia from senile dementia because elderly patients with schizophrenia can present in chronic remission and show gradual cognitive decline with aging. We aimed to elucidate the semiological characteristics of late-life chronic schizophrenia. Three patients aged between 60 and 66 years who were admitted to our hospital were included in this study. Detailed history taking and psychiatric interviews were performed and reviewed in the light of psychopathological semiology. Although the three patients with late-life schizophrenia showed significant cognitive decline on the Hasegawa dementia rating scale and their negative symptoms mimicked dementia, the following psychopathological characteristics clearly differentiated them from patients with senile dementia: (1) a shift of temporal organization toward the future with intact memory, (2) hypersensitivity, (3) ambivalent personal relationships, (4) systematic bodily delusions, and (5) an ante festum mindset. Identifying such clinical features of patients with late-life schizophrenia could be important for developing more effective pharmacotherapy and for providing appropriate psychotherapy.
- Geriatric psychiatry
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