Moreover, untreated schizophrenia may become more resistant to treatment, in part because psychosis itself may create or lead to widespread neurobiological abnormalities28 that make treatment more complicated and difficult. The case for preventive treatment Research and theory about the early treatment of psychosis naturally leads to the question: can psychosis be avoided? That is, can schizophrenic illness be treated before psychosis is added to it? Most researchers have approached the issue of primary prevention by focusing on prodromal symptoms as indicators of an impending psychotic disorder, but such symptoms are often nonspecific. McGorry et al59 showed,
for example, that DSM-III-R prodromal Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical symptoms for schizophrenia occurred in 15% to 50% of high-school students. This raises obvious questions about the Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical validity – and wisdom – of intervening on the basis of such symptoms. Arc prodromal indicators like social withdrawal or subtle changes in thinking or affect valid enough indicators of early schizophrenia to warrant intervention, Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical which may involve powerful antipsychotic medications and their associated side effects? Is the cost/benefit analysis favorable enough to risk the potential anxiety and stigmatization (for both “patients” and their families) that will likely attend the classification
of an individual as at-risk for schizophrenia, probably in the near future? Unfortunately, these questions cannot yet be answered in the affirmative. In part because prodromal symptoms that are specific to schizophrenia (or to other psychotic illness) are still unknown,60 the application of primary prevention programs appears Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical premature in the absence of clear clinical symptoms. Among the steps that will make prevention efforts more feasible for nonpsychotic individuals are, first, to identify the population at risk, and second, to develop a AZD6244 rationale for treatment. We propose that the study of schizotaxia will help to achieve this goal. Given this hypothesis, what are the next steps that must be taken to design a strategy aimed at preventing Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical schizophrenia? Clearly, the validity of
schizotaxia as a predictor of subsequent Calpain schizophrenia must be firmly established. As Robins and Guze5 pointed out, it is crucial to establish both the concurrent and predictive validity of putative syndromes. Does the classification of schizotaxia predict neuropsychological, ncuroimaging, or psychophysiologic findings that are consistent with what is known about the neurobiology of schizophrenia? As we have reviewed elsewhere, a growing body of literature suggests that the answer is “yes.”43 Abnormalities found among relatives of schizophrenic patients include eyetracking dysfunction,61 allusive thinking,62 neurologic signs,63 characteristic auditory evoked potentials,64 neuroimaging-assessed brain abnormalities,65 and neuropsychological impairment.