November 13, 2006

Remission in Early Psychosis: A Study

Data from 462 patients with first-episode psychosis who participated in a multinational, randomized, double-blinded trial of risperidone and haloperidol over 2 to 4 years were studied to glean more information about rates of remission and predictors of remission.

The study used remission criteria, as defined by "The Remission in Schizophrenia Working Group", consisting of a reduction to mild levels on key symptoms for at least 6 months.

Remission criteria for the required 6 months were met by 23.6% of the 462 patients (109).

Researchers found that the two strongest predictors of remission were:

  1. Shorter duration of untreated psychosis
  2. Treatment response at 6 weeks
These patients, compared to the others, had better quality of life, fewer relapses, had a more favorable attitude towards their medication, had lower extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS) levels, and received lower doses of antipsychotic medication.

Original Source Abstract: Remission in early psychosis: Rates, predictors, and clinical and functional outcome correlates Schizophrenia Research by Emsley R, Rabinowitz J, Medori R

See Also: Remission in Schizophrenia: Proposed Criteria and Rationale for Consensus Am J Psychiatry 162:441-449, March 2005

Additional Reading:
Remission of Schizophrenia
New Early Detection Program in North Carolina


What I find disturbing about this study is leaving patients on a medication for 2-4 years without remission, instead of trying different meds.

Posted by: Naomi_njw at November 13, 2006 11:46 AM

They seem to be intentionally including briefer psychoses and schizophreniforms without factoring in diagnostic instability, in order to provide a high remission rate result in their study.

Posted by: slc at November 17, 2006 04:17 AM

Post a comment

Please enter this code to enable your comment -
Remember Me?
(you may use HTML tags for style)
* indicates required