Best Strategy to Prevent Schizophrenia Relapse Identified?

A large meta-analysis sheds light on the best antipsychotic maintenance strategy to prevent relapse in clinically-stable schizophrenia — with some unexpected results that have potential implications for changes to current guidelines. Consistent with the researchers’ hypothesis, continuing antipsychotic treatment at the standard dose, switching to another antipsychotic, and reducing the dose were all significantly more … Read more

Sleep a Potential Treatment Target for Schizophrenia?

A new analysis reveals a bidirectional relationship between sleep patterns and schizophrenia, leading researchers to suggest that sleep may be a potential treatment target for the disorder. Applying a Mendelian randomization (MR) approach, the investigators selected genetic variants from a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) conducted using data from UK Biobank and 23andMe. They … Read more

Advance Directives for Psych Care Reduce Compulsory Admissions

Providing peer or community health workers to help psychiatric patients with complete psychiatric advance directives (PAD) to govern care in advance of a mental health crisis is associated with a significant reduction in compulsory hospital admissions, new research shows. Results of a randomized trial showed the peer worker PAD group had a 42% reduction in … Read more

Lower-Dose Antipsychotics Benefit Patients with Schizophrenia

NEW ORLEANS — Patients with treatment-refractory schizophrenia in a long-term forensic facility showed significant stability following reduced doses of long-acting injectable antipsychotics, a study revealed. Dr Mujeeb Shad “There is an argument by some experts in the field that state hospital populations represent a different set of patients who require higher antipsychotic dosages, with no … Read more

Social Activities May Offset Psychosis Risk in Poor Communities

Social engagement such as participation in community or school-based activities may mitigate psychosis risk in susceptible youth living in disadvantaged communities, new research suggests. A study of more than 170 young participants showed reduced hippocampal volume in those living in poor neighborhoods who had low social engagement vs their peers with greater community engagement. Dr. … Read more

High-Dose Antipsychotics Effective in Refractory Schizophrenia

NEW ORLEANS – Patients with severe schizophrenia who fail to respond to treatment with standard doses of second-generation antipsychotics show significant improvement with – and tolerance of – higher maintenance doses of the drugs, new research shows. Dr Juan Jose Fernandez-Miranda The use of [higher doses of] long-acting injectable second-generation antipsychotics shows improvement not only … Read more

Antipsychotic Tied to Weight Gain, Higher Cholesterol

Increases in use of the antipsychotic risperidone (Risperdal) are associated with small dose-related increases in both weight and blood cholesterol levels, new research suggests. Investigators analyzed 1-year data for more than 400 patients who were taking risperidone and/or its metabolite paliperidone (Invega). Results showed increments of 1 mg of risperidone-equivalent doses were associated with an … Read more

Early Metformin Minimizes Antipsychotic-Induced Weight Gain

MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina ― Psychiatrists should prescribe metformin early to patients who experience rapid weight gain after they begin taking antipsychotic drugs, according to a new evidence-based Irish guideline for the management of this common complication in adults with psychoses who are taking medications. The document was discussed during one of the sessions of … Read more

When Does an Elite Athlete Need Mental Health Treatment?

MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina — Many athletes get the “jitters” — a feeling of anxiety — just prior to competing. For elite athletes, whether they’re participating in an individual event or as part of a team, whether on a track, court, rink, or field, this feeling can affect performance. It is a well-known, and not … Read more

Quick Pivot Upheld Schizophrenia Care During COVID

During the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health clinics in the United States successfully upheld the standard of care for patients with schizophrenia using telepsychiatry and long-acting injectable antipsychotics (LAIs), a new survey data show. “Mental health centers rose to the challenge and did what they needed to do for their patients,” study investigator Dawn Velligan, PhD, … Read more