Concept

Dementia praecox

Summary
Dementia praecox (meaning a "premature dementia" or "precocious madness") is a disused psychiatric diagnosis that originally designated a chronic, deteriorating psychotic disorder characterized by rapid cognitive disintegration, usually beginning in the late teens or early adulthood. Over the years, the term dementia praecox was gradually replaced by the term schizophrenia, which initially had a meaning that included what is today considered the autism spectrum. The term dementia praecox was first used by German psychiatrist Heinrich Schüle in 1880. It was also used in 1891 by Arnold Pick (1851–1924), a professor of psychiatry at Charles University in Prague. In a brief clinical report, he described a person with a psychotic disorder resembling "hebephrenia" (an adolescent-onset psychotic condition). German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin (1856–1926) popularised the term dementia praecox in his first detailed textbook descriptions of a condition that eventually became a different dise
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