5. The Schizophrenia Spectrum Personality Disorders

  1. Daniel R. Weinberger MD3 and
  2. Paul J. Harrison MA, BM, BCh, DM(Oxon), FRCPsych4
  1. Eran Chemerinski MD1 and
  2. Larry J. Siever MD2

Published Online: 8 MAR 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444327298.ch5

Schizophrenia, Third Edition

Schizophrenia, Third Edition

How to Cite

Chemerinski, E. and Siever, L. J. (2010) The Schizophrenia Spectrum Personality Disorders, in Schizophrenia, Third Edition (eds D. R. Weinberger and P. J. Harrison), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444327298.ch5

Editor Information

  1. 3

    Genes, Cognition and Psychosis Program, Clinical Studies Section, Clinical Brain Disorders Branch, National Institute of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA

  2. 4

    Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, Warneford Hospital, Oxford, UK

Author Information

  1. 1

    Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, and James J. Peter Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Bronx, NY, USA

  2. 2

    Department of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine New York, NY, and James J. Peter Veterans Affairs Medical Center, New York, NY, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 8 MAR 2011
  2. Published Print: 10 DEC 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405176972

Online ISBN: 9781444327298



  • schizophrenia;
  • spectrum;
  • schizotypal;
  • phenomenology;
  • dopamine


Early phenomenological descriptions of schizophrenia have recognized the existence of conditions characterized by the presence of attenuated forms of the symptoms normally present in this disorder. The examination of these schizophrenia spectrum disorders might elucidate the pathophysiological mechanisms giving rise to schizophrenia. Differences and similarities between subjects with schizotypal personality disorder (SPD), the prototypic schizophrenia personality disorder, and schizophrenia are being examined with genetic, neurochemical, imaging, and pharmacological instruments. Patients with SPD and those more severely ill with chronic schizophrenia share cognitive, social, and attentional deficits hypothesized to result from common neurodevelopmentally-based cortical temporal and prefrontal pathology. However, these deficits are milder in patients with SPD due to their capacity to recruit other related regions to compensate for dysfunctional areas. Also, these individuals are less vulnerable to psychosis due to the presence of protective factors against subcortical dopamine hyperactivity. Their decreased vulnerability to psychotic exacerbations and their more readily cognitive and social deficit improvement after the use of cognitive enhancement agents, result in subjects with SPD constituting an ideal population to employ in pharmacological cognitive enhancement studies of the schizophrenia spectrum.