Podcast 621: Pediatric Psychosis - The Emergency Medical Minute

Podcast 621: Pediatric Psychosis

Contributor: Aaron Lessen, MD

Educational Pearls:

  • Schizophrenia typically doesn’t present until age 13 and has a prodrome
  • Prodrome includes months of gradual changes in behavior, starting with negative symptoms and progressing to positive symptoms
    • Negative symptoms include losing concentration, poor memory, poor school performance, and personality changes
    • Positive symptoms include hallucinations, which tend to be more visual in children
  • Sudden changes mimicking psychiatric illness should raise concern for alternative causes¬†


Kendhari J, Shankar R, Young-Walker L. A Review of Childhood-Onset Schizophrenia. Focus (Am Psychiatr Publ). 2016 Jul;14(3):328-332. doi: 10.1176/appi.focus.20160007. Epub 2016 Jul 8. PMID: 31975813; PMCID: PMC6526799.

Staal M, Panis B, Schieveld JNM. Early warning signs in misrecognized secondary pediatric psychotic disorders: a systematic review. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2019 Sep;28(9):1159-1167. doi: 10.1007/s00787-018-1208-y. Epub 2018 Jul 27. PMID: 30054738.

Summarized by Jackson Roos, MS4 | Edited by Erik Verzemnieks, MD


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