March 29, 2005

SZ articles in Psychiatric Times

Two good articles are available online in the March issue of Psychiatric Times. Short summaries and links are included below:


First-Episode Schizophrenia: Research Perspectives and Clinical Implications
By Matcheri S. Keshavan, M.D.
Psychiatric Times March 2005 Vol. XXII Issue 3

Despite over a century of research, we only have a limited understanding of the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders. Early studies largely relied on postmortem examination of the brains of mostly older patients with chronic schizophrenia or brain scans in patients with established schizophrenia, many of whom were treated with medications. It was difficult, therefore, to tease apart the effects of the illness from those of aging, illness chronicity and medications. Studies of individuals in the early phases of schizophrenia, especially those in the first episode, avoid such difficulties (Keshavan and Schooler, 1992). These studies help us determine the course and predictive value of the neurobiological changes as well as approaches to optimal interventions early in the illness.

Link to the full article


A Challenging Mix: Co-Occurring Schizophrenia and Substance Use Disorders
By Mary F. Brunette, M.D., Douglas L. Noordsy, M.D., and Alan I. Green, M.D.
Psychiatric Times March 2005 Vol. XXII Issue 3

Over the course of their lifetime, approximately one-half of all patients with schizophrenia will experience a co-occurring substance use disorder. Detection and optimal treatment of co-occurring substance use disorders are essential if patient outcomes are to be optimized. Although medications and psychosocial interventions are effective for the treatment of symptoms of schizophrenia and its associated cognitive deficits, identifying and treating co-occurring substance use disorders in patients with schizophrenia remain major clinical challenges. (More in-depth information on this topic can be found elsewhere [Brunette et al., in press; Green et al., 2002; Noordsy and Green, 2003].)

Link to the full article


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