Dementia Praecox (Premature Dementia)

Dementia praecox or premature dementia is what we now term as “schizophrenia” which is usually characterized by hallucinations, delusions, disorganized behavior, and movement disorders. The hallmark of this condition is cognitive disintegration. It was initially used by Arnold Pick, a Jewish Czech psychiatrist, in 1891 and was later on popularized by Emil Kraepelin, a German psychiatrist, with his detailed descriptions of the mental disorder. Kraepelin was also instrumental in differentiating dementia praecox which mainly affects intellectual functioning from “manic-depression” (bipolar disorder) which primarily affects mood. In 1925, Eugen Bleuler, a Swiss psychiatrist coined the term “schizophrenia”.

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