The course focuses on the detection and management of schizophrenia. This is a free, online event.
First Episode and Early Schizophrenia: Detection and Management10/21/2009
For most patients, schizophrenia is a life long disorder that requires maintenance treatment with antipsychotics and psychosocial support to avoid inpatient hospitalizations. However, the administration of antipsychotics comes at a cost with respect to medical comorbidity for most patients. In addition, recent large controlled trials that compare second generation antipsychotics with first generation antipsychotics have called into question the superiority of second generation antipsychotics (other than clozapine) over first generation antipsychotics with regards to efficacy. In reality, many patients remain symptomatic and may be at risk for hospitalization, chronic disability and suicide. A systematic approach to the selection and dosing of antipsychotic agents must take place after patients fail to respond to initial treatment interventions. For most patients, consenting to the use of an antipsychotic medication is an individualized choice that balances sufficient efficacy with acceptable side effects, a process that must be negotiated with patients. Clozapine remains an underused option for patients who have only had a partial response to first line antipsychotics, despite good evidence for its superior efficacy. This program is produced by the Massachusetts General Hospital Academy.