November 2, 2015 – Avoiding Schizophrenia


Anchor lead: Can a comprehensive approach to treatment stave off development of schizophrenia? Elizabeth Tracey reports

An episode of psychosis that often is quite prolonged may be the first symptom that schizophrenia is in the offing, and if that episode is identified and a comprehensive approach taken to management, results are impressive, a recently reported study found.  Paul Rosenberg, a psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins, reviews the intervention.

Rosenberg: We’ve been working toward this kind of intervention for decades and what this is is a wonderful example of putting the whole package together. A couple things about this study: it was in folks who had first episode psychosis. A lot of those folks have bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. And a lot of them, at least in the old days, are on their way to a downhill course, at least in terms of their psychosocial functioning. If we intervene early, if we intervene aggressively, and if we do a lot more than just give medicines, will we have better outcomes?  And the answer from this study is yes.  :33

Medicines, therapy, family education and school or employment support were all part of this community-based approach.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.