Distinguishing Schizophrenia from Dementia

While the onset of schizophrenia typically occurs in adolescence or young adulthood, schizophrenia may also occur in late life. Schizophrenia with a late life onset is often called paraphrenia, and may occur in individuals who have a history of eccentricity and are socially isolated. However, dementia can also produce hallucinations and delusions, and thus, like depression, it is important to distinguish between the two conditions.

Assessment of Mental Health in Older Adults

Given that late-life onset of schizophrenia is relatively rare, very few systematic studies have been conducted. However, neuropsychological assessment studies have been done, and, in many cases, it is possible to rule out dementing processes.

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