September 24, 2004

Antipsychotic May Benefit Schizotypal Personality Disorder

A preliminary study of the antipsychotic drug olanzapine from researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical center indicates that it might benefit those with schizotypal personality disorder as well.

Schizotypal Personality Disorder, or SPD, includes many of the social and cognitive deficits of schizophrenia (i.e. suspiciousness or paranoia, extreme social anxiety or withdrawal, odd thinking/speech, unusual perceptual experiences such as bodily illusions, etc). According to the American Description, it "does not occur exclusively during the course of schizophrenia", and the European Description asserts that in a diagnosis of SPD, "no definite and characteristic schizophrenic anomalies have occurred at any stage."

According to Matcheri Keshavan and colleagues from the University of Pittsburgh, "genetic, clinical, and neurobehavioral data support the hypothesis that SPD may be a schizophrenia-spectrum disorder."

During the course of the open-label study, which included 11 patients diagnosed with SPD, a low dose of olanzapine significantly iimproved positive and negative symptoms, depressive symptoms, and overall functioning.

Weight gain was a major side effect, with 5 gaining more than 7% body weight.

Given that people with SPD may be at a significantly increased risk of developing schizophrenia or related psychotic disorders, the researchers encourage larger, controlled clinical trials of antipsychotic drugs in this patient population.

For the full story, see "Antipsychotic shows schizotypal personality disorder promise" (Sept 24 2004). Available at Psychiatrysource (

The published study is available in Schizophr Res 2004; 71: 97�101

Learn more about the definition, diagnosis, and treatment of schizotypal personality disorder (


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