Schizophrenia is a long-term mental health condition that causes a range of different psychological symptoms. These include: hallucinations (hearing or seeing things that do not exist), delusions (unusual beliefs that are not based on reality and often contradict the evidence), muddled thoughts based on the hallucinations or delusions, and changes in behaviour. Doctors describe schizophrenia as a psychotic illness. This means that sometimes a person may not be able to distinguish their own thoughts and ideas from reality.

Our schizophrenia Blogs

Can fMRI measuring striatal connectivity help predict response to antipsychotics?


Samei Huda steps into George Clooney’s shoes to discuss baseline striatal functional connectivity as a predictor of response to antipsychotic drug treatment.

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Common mental health disorders linked with increased risk of violent reoffending in ex-prisoners


Ian Cummins considers the implications of a new cohort study of convicted prisoners in Sweden, which links psychiatric disorders with violent reoffending.

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Caring for people with severe mental illness: poor research means that carers get a raw deal

Mother and teenage son

Caroline Struthers is frustrated by the lack of high quality research identified by this recent review, which looks at interventions to improve the experience and well-being of those caring for people with severe mental illness.

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Does tobacco use cause psychosis?


Marcus Munafo appraises a recent systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective, case-control and cross-sectional studies, which finds that daily tobacco use is associated with an increased risk of psychosis and an earlier age at onset of psychotic illness.

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Mood Matters: mood instability is common and associated with poor outcomes


Farhana Mann summarises an observational study of mood instability in people with mental illness, which explores its relationship with days spent in hospital, frequency of admissions, the likelihood of being sectioned and the chance of being prescribed antipsychotics and mood stabilisers.

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Joining the dots: mental and physical health

dot pic

Lia Ali and colleagues from the IMPARTS project present the findings of their group discussions about a recent review of mortality in mental disorders. Along the way she discusses the staff training they carried out and the tweet chat they ran to consider the implications of this research, both to individuals and on the global burden of disease.

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Switching antipsychotics in schizophrenia: the OPTiMiSE RCT


Tracey Roberts summarises a recent paper that reviews the existing literature concerned with switching antipsychotics in patients with schizophrenia, and goes on to present the ongoing OPTiMiSE RCT in this field, which is due to be published in 2016.

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What psychosocial factors promote and challenge mental health recovery?

CC Image courtesy of Andy Mitchell on Flickr

In this blog, Sarah Carr examines a systematic review into the psychosocial factors that help and hinder mental health recovery and discusses implications for policy.

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Smoking cessation for people with severe mental illness


Sally Adams appraises and summarises the SCIMITAR pilot RCT, which investigates smoking cessation for people with severe mental ill health. The paper presents a highly promising bespoke intervention for smokers with bipolar disorder, psychosis or schizophrenia.

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Smoking and risk of schizophrenia: new study finds a dose-response relationship


Marcus Munafò looks at the mounting evidence about smoking and risk of schizophrenia, including a new case-control study that provides clear evidence of a prospective association between cigarette smoking and a subsequent diagnosis of schizophrenia.

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