Childhood-Onset Schizophrenia Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Sep 03, 2014
  • Author: Annemarie K Loth, MD; Chief Editor: Caroly Pataki, MD  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

The diagnosis of schizophrenia requires the exclusion of mood disorders with psychotic features (bipolar disorder), substance-induced psychotic disorder, and psychosis due to a medical condition. The following conditions should be considered when evaluating a child or adolescent with suspected schizophrenia:

  • Psychosis secondary to epilepsy; psychosis not otherwise specified; and psychosis, single episode

  • Neurodegenerative disorders

  • Multidimensionally impaired syndrome (not a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition [DSM-IV] diagnosis), characterized by emotional lability, distractibility, poor social skills, brief hallucinations, and trouble distinguishing fact from fiction

  • Central nervous system (CNS) tumor

  • Progressive organic CNS disorder (eg, sclerosing panencephalitis)

  • Schizoaffective disorder

Chromosomal disorder: 22q11 deletion syndrome

Differential Diagnoses