Unawareness in schizophrenia: Neuropsychological and neuroanatomical findings
Article first published online: 6 SEP 2006
Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences
Volume 60, Issue 5, pages 531–537, October 2006
How to Cite
PIA, L. and TAMIETTO, M. (2006), Unawareness in schizophrenia: Neuropsychological and neuroanatomical findings. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 60: 531–537. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1819.2006.01576.x
- Issue published online: 6 SEP 2006
- Article first published online: 6 SEP 2006
- Received 2 December 2005; revised 8 May 2006; accepted 28 May 2006.
- lack of awareness;
- lack of insight;
- tardive dyskenisia;
Abstract The lack of insight in schizophrenia has so far been interpreted as a primary symptom of the illness, namely a defensive mechanism rather than a neurologically-based condition. However, recent findings have emphasized its relationship with damage to specific brain areas as well as the domain specificity in which it may occur. This supports a neuropsychological interpretation of the lack of insight in schizophrenia. The present article reviews the foregoing data, and takes into account the most relevant anatomo-clinical results. There is evidence that the lack of insight in schizophrenia may occur as a neurological disease per se following brain damage that seems related to frontal lobe areas. Additionally, it could either be related to all aspects of the disease or be domain-specific, occurring for one kind of symptom but not for others. These data indicate several analogies with the phenomenon called anosognosia for a neurological deficit.