Anosognosia in schizophrenia: hidden in plain sight.

Related Articles

Anosognosia in schizophrenia: hidden in plain sight.

Innov Clin Neurosci. 2014 May;11(5-6):10-7

Authors: Lehrer DS, Lorenz J

Abstract
OBJECTIVE: Poor insight is a cardinal symptom of schizophrenia that, while not universally and uniformly expressed in all patients, is among the most common of its manifestations. Available neurobiological and neurocognitive evidence linking the phenomenon to core pathophysiology of schizophrenia justifies extension of the anosognosia construct to schizophrenia-related insight deficits. Poor insight is a core attribute of schizophrenia, occurring in 57 to 98 percent of patients. Insight is an important outcome predictor, associated with treatment adherence, relapse frequency, symptom remission, psychosocial functioning, vocational attainment, and risk of violence toward self or others. Combined findings lend urgency to the importance of reducing psychotic relapse. This can only be achieved in the majority of patients with consistent medication adherence- something that is often exceedingly difficult in patients lacking belief in the fact of their illness. This article examines whether anosognosia, the unawareness of deficit or illness, should apply to our understanding of insight deficits in patients with schizophrenia. Although research in the field is limited at this time, there is hope that anosognosia as a symptom of schizophrenia will become a focus of further research and a critically important therapeutic target amenable to treatment.
DESIGN: This article is a literature review and conceptualization.
CONCLUSION: Limited research in the field gives cause for hope that anosognosia as a symptom of schizophrenia will become a critically important therapeutic target that is amendable to treatment.

PMID: 25152841 [PubMed]