Schizophrenia Program

photo

Weight Loss and Diabetes Prevention Program

At the Weight Loss and Diabetes Prevention Program, people with schizophrenia receive state-of-the-art intervention for weight loss, diabetes prevention, cardiovascular fitness, and improved overall health.
  • Phone: 617-912-7848

Overview

The Schizophrenia Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital offers a comprehensive approach to weight reduction and healthy lifestyle behaviors. High rates of serious medical conditions and a shortened life expectancy have long been associated with chronic mental illness, particularly schizophrenia. The good news is that recent advances have been associated with better clinical outcomes and a dramatic decline in medication-induced side effects (such as tardive dyskinesia, a movement disorder). The bad news, however, is that because of unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, medication side effects, and poor access to medical care, approximately half of individuals diagnosed with a severe mental illness develop a serious medical condition.

The Weight Loss and Diabetes Prevention Program has been designed specifically for individuals with a serious mental illness, like schizophrenia. Weight gain is a common side effect of psychiatric medications. As a result, patients are more vulnerable to type II diabetes mellitus, hypertension, coronary heart disease and other obesity-related conditions. High rates of serious medical conditions and a shortened life expectancy have long been associated with chronic mental illness, particularly schizophrenia. Weight gain is a frequent side effect of psychiatric medications, so individuals who take these medications are particularly vulnerable to obesity and associated illnesses including type II diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and coronary heart disease.

At the Weight Loss and Diabetes Prevention Program, people with schizophrenia receive state-of-the-art intervention for weight loss, diabetes prevention, cardiovascular fitness and improved overall health, which includes:

  • A comprehensive wellness consultation that includes a thorough psychiatric and physical exam and medical history assessment
  • A detailed nutritional analysis of weekly food intake and assessment of daily physical activity
  • Recommendations that may include adjustments or changes to psychotropic medications, dietary changes, and/or lifestyle behavior changes
  • Weight-reduction nutrition and exercise groups
  • Monthly maintenance meetings to encourage healthy lifestyles
  • Innovative research studies focused on prevention and risk-reduction

Group Members

Research Projects

A Cross-sectional study to compare glucose and lipid metabolism in schizophrenia subjects treated with either Fanapt (iloperidone), Zyprexa (olanzapine), or Risperdal (risperidone)
This is a cross-sectional study of non-obese, BMI-matched subjects treated with iloperidone-, risperidone- or olanzapine-for schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether Iloperidone has metabolic side effects in patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffetive disorder, and if so, how they compare to the metabolic side effects of other common antipsychotics, primarily Risperidone and Olanzpine.