Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study Challenges Rush To Medicate Schizophrenia

Date:
March 23, 2006
Source:
University of Southern California
Summary:
This researcher looked at several studies and found no evidence that schizophrenia without medication resulted in long-term harm for patients. The finding is important because guidelines now call for immediate medication for a year, limiting research possibilities. Those guidelines also result in the medication of the 10 to 40 percent who would improve without drugs.

A USC review of published research has found no evidence that early episodes of schizophrenia without medication result in long-term harm for patients, casting doubt on the practice to immediately medicate for a year.

Related Articles


“The question is whether we should rush to treat early episodes with anti-psychotics, often before a clear diagnosis has become evident,” wrote John Bola in his study slated for publication in the April edition of Schizophrenia Bulletin.

Bola said the findings are important because the drugs used to treat schizophrenia can have serious side effects in nearly half of patients, from severe weight gain and restlessness to involuntary movement and adult-onset diabetes.

The controversial findings could clear the way for researchers to identify the large number of patients who do not need the drugs for their conditions to improve, said Bola, an assistant professor in the USC School of Social Work.

“It’s important to look for the people who don’t need medication to prevent overexposure to possible side effects,” Bola said. “In the last 25 years, there has been little effort to identify the 25 to 40 percent of those who tend to recover with psychosocial treatment and not need medications.”

Bola analyzed six published studies from the 1950s to the present with a majority of first or second-episode schizophrenia subjects.

The drugs available do help most patients, but not all, Bola said.

“There is a lack of good-quality evidence to support a conclusion that long-term harm results from short-term postponement of medication in early episode schizophrenia,” Bola said. “A categorical prohibition against such research should be reconsidered.”

The American Psychiatric Association recommends anti-psychotic medication for at least a year after diagnosis.

That guideline of immediate drug treatment for the first occurrence of schizophrenia prevents important research on the selective use of medications and psychosocial treatments from happening, Bola said.

“Bola has rekindled attention to an important question in the early treatment of schizophrenia,” wrote Nina Schooler of Georgetown University in one of six commentaries that accompanied Bola’s study in Schizophrenia Bulletin.

Thomas H. McGlashan, director of the Yale Psychiatric Institute, also provided a commentary. He has been studying schizophrenia since the 1970s and was the author of some of the studies Bola cited.

“I maintain that our ignorance remains as profound as it was 29 years ago and that unraveling the mysteries of schizophrenia still requires observing it under natural conditions, i.e, without antipsychotic medications,” McGlashan stated. “On the other hand, medication has revolutionized the treatment of psychosis, and it is absolutely required under certain circumstances.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Southern California. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Southern California. "Study Challenges Rush To Medicate Schizophrenia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 March 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060322141147.htm>.
University of Southern California. (2006, March 23). Study Challenges Rush To Medicate Schizophrenia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060322141147.htm
University of Southern California. "Study Challenges Rush To Medicate Schizophrenia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060322141147.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

AP (Oct. 28, 2014) Moms and Dads get a more hands-on approach to parenting with tech-centric products for raising their little ones. (Oct. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Newsy (Oct. 27, 2014) Researchers have come up with another reason why dark chocolate is good for your health. A substance in the treat can reportedly help with memory. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Five-Year-Olds Learn Coding as Britain Eyes Digital Future

Five-Year-Olds Learn Coding as Britain Eyes Digital Future

AFP (Oct. 27, 2014) Coding has become compulsory for children as young as five in schools across the UK. Making it the first major world economy to overhaul its IT teaching and put programming at its core. Duration: 02:19 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins