Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Violence Declines With Medication Use In Some With Schizophrenia

Date:
July 2, 2008
Source:
Duke University Medical Center
Summary:
Some schizophrenia patients become less prone to violence when taking medication, but those with a history of childhood conduct problems continue to pose a higher risk even with treatment, according to a new study.

Some schizophrenia patients become less prone to violence when taking medication, but those with a history of childhood conduct problems continue to pose a higher risk even with treatment, according to a new study by researchers at Duke University Medical Center.

"This is the first large randomized controlled study to compare the effectiveness of several commonly-prescribed medications for schizophrenia on reducing community violence," said Jeffrey Swanson, professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences and the study's lead author. "Serious violent behavior is not frequent among people with schizophrenia, but when it does occur, the results can be costly and tragic."

The study found that violence declined significantly when patients took antipsychotic medications as prescribed, but only among patients whose prior risk for violence could be linked to psychotic symptoms.

The researchers identified a subgroup of schizophrenia patients with a history of childhood conduct problems who were more likely to be violent at the beginning of the study. Among these patients, violence was not strongly related to psychotic symptoms, and did not significantly decline with adherence to prescribed antipsychotic medication during the six-month study period.

The new results, which are from the National Institute of Mental Health's Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness (CATIE) study, are published in the July issue of The British Journal of Psychiatry.

"In the past, we've not understood very well why a small proportion of patients with schizophrenia become seriously violent, while most do not--and why medication seems to prevent violent behavior in some and not others," said Marvin Swartz, professor of psychiatry and coauthor of the study. "These findings tell us that people with schizophrenia may behave violently for reasons not directly related to their mental illness. If that's the case, then treatment for psychotic symptoms alone may not eliminate the risk of violence."

Researchers found that a number of factors contributed to violent acts independently of the person's schizophrenia. In addition to childhood conduct problems, substance abuse, being the victim of past violent acts, poverty and living with others, rather than alone, were all predictors of violent behavior.

Medication is the primary course of schizophrenia treatment to reduce symptoms and hopefully prevent violent acts. This study found that newer antipsychotics are as effective as older medications in reducing violence among people with schizophrenia.

"Contrary to the expectations of many clinicians and some research, this study found no benefit for newer medications over an older medication in reducing the risk for violence over the six-month study period," Swanson said. "In fact, one of the newer medications, quetiapine, performed worse than the first-generation drug perphenanize."

The CATIE study included 1,445 patients with schizophrenia who were randomly assigned to treatment with one of five antipsychotic medications, including olanzapine, perphenanize, quetiapine, risperidone, or ziprasidone.

"Antipsychotic drugs may help reduce violence risk, but they don't address all of the causes of violent behavior and they don't help at all if people can't or won't take the medication prescribed. We also need interventions to help patients stay engaged in treatment," Swartz added.

The study's co-authors include Richard A. Van Dorn, Ph.D., Joseph P. McEvoy, M.D., and H. Ryan Wagner, Ph.D., of Duke University Medical Center, Jan Volavka, M.D., Ph.D., of New York University, John Monahan, Ph.D., of the University of Virginia, T. Scott Stroup, M.D., M.P.H., and Eric B. Elbogen, Ph.D., of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Jeffrey A. Lieberman, M.D., of Columbia University for the CATIE Investigators.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Duke University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Duke University Medical Center. "Violence Declines With Medication Use In Some With Schizophrenia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080701083527.htm>.
Duke University Medical Center. (2008, July 2). Violence Declines With Medication Use In Some With Schizophrenia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080701083527.htm
Duke University Medical Center. "Violence Declines With Medication Use In Some With Schizophrenia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080701083527.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, April 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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