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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Childhood adversity and psychotic symptoms: how much can a growing evidence-base tell us?


Stephen Wood ponders the reliability of a recent systematic review and meta-analysis, which suggests that childhood adversity is significantly linked to an elevated risk of psychotic symptom persistence.

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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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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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Biological markers for treatment response in first episode psychosis


Stephen Wood summarises a systematic review of biological markers for treatment response in first episode psychosis, which discusses a number of hot topics in this field including inflammation, infectious disease and oxidative stress.

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High potency cannabis and the risk of psychosis


Eleanor Kennedy writes her debut blog on a recent case-control study of people in South London, which explores the links between first-episode psychosis and the use of high potency cannabis (skunk).

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Family experiences of help seeking in first episode psychosis


Andrew Shepherd explores the complex issue of families seeking help for first episode psychosis, investigated by researchers in a recent family narrative study, which concludes that help seeking attempts are often derailed by complex family responses to illness.

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Long duration of untreated psychosis is associated with a range of poor outcomes


Joe Judge appraises a recent systematic review and meta-analysis looking at the duration of untreated psychosis as a predictor of long-term outcomes in schizophrenia.

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Helping young people with psychosis return to work: early intervention services need to do more


Stephen Wood summarises a recent cluster RCT of vocational rehabilitation in early psychosis, which finds that early intervention services need to do more to help young people with psychosis return to work.

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Black patients’ first contact with mental health services is more likely to be coercive


It is well documented that there are differences in how patients are treated, depending on their ethnicity. Previous inquiries in the UK have suggested that the NHS is institutionally racist (Blofeld et al, 2003). Some groups, for example those from African Caribbean or Aboriginal descent, experience more coercive care and poor outcomes, including higher doses of [read the full story…]