Prognostic Implications

Despite the nonspecificity of signs and symptoms that occur during the premorbid phase, several of these characteristics are associated with the long-term clinical course of schizophrenia. Individuals with good premorbid psychosocial functioning tend to have a later age of onset, good response to antipsychotic medication, and a more benign course of illness characterized by fewer symptom exacerbations and higher interepisode functioning. Conversely, poor premorbid functioning tends to predict a more chronic, debilitating course. For example, individuals with limited social drive and emotional expression are more likely to have an earlier age of onset, worse social and occupational functioning, more prominent negative symptoms, and poorer response to antipsy-chotic medication.

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