Early interventions for schizophrenia aim to improve treatment outcomes.
New Orleans-When such early symptoms of schizophrenia as disorganized thoughts, social withdrawal, and paranoia begin to emerge, it can be a frightening experience for affected individuals and family members. But an emerging body of evidence also suggests that this early stage of illness might provide an opportunity for interventions, even very simple ones, that may help to prevent the development of fullblown schizophrenia.Several preliminary clinical trials have probed whether early interventions, including medication, behavioral therapies, or epsilon-3 fatty acid supplementation, may reduce the likelihood that an at-risk individual will develop schizophrenia, with some reporting positive results. The studies complement findings suggesting that delayed treatment leads to poorer long-term outcomes for patients with schizophrenia. During a symposium at the American Psychiatric Association's (APA's) annual meeting in May, scientists from institutions around the world discussed their progress in this area, including the launch of large multisite trials that aim to further refine tools to identify those at risk and to study which interventions are most effective and when they should be initiated.更多