Talks about a study involving children in the prodromal stage of sz. They gave some kids low dose antipsychotics, counseling and if needed meds for depression and anxiety. With the other kids they just watched and waited. The kids with the intervention only had 13% develop full blown sz within 6 months vs 36% for the kids with nothing but people watching.
The study, the only schizophrenia prevention trial completed thus far, involved 59 persons with prodromal symptoms who received either “supportive following” or a multimodal treatment regimen consisting of low-dose risperidone, cognitive behavioral therapy, and (if necessary) antianxiety or antidepressant medications. After six months in the study, schizophrenia was diagnosed in 10 of the 28 control participants (36%) but in only four of the 31 of treated subjects (13%).
This one talks about 3 studies on prodrome interventions. The one above and 2 others. All saw significant decreases in the numbers who went on to develop full blown psychosis.
Only three studies thus far have addressed treatment needs of prodromal patients. The first two studied antipsychotic medication. A recently completed trial randomized 59 patients to open-label risperidone plus cognitive therapy plus usual care versus usual care alone (McGorry et al., 2002). Six month conversion to psychosis rates were 9.7% for the risperidone containing treatment and 35.7% for usual care (p<0.05). Our group has completed a 12 month trial randomizing 60 patients to olanzapine vs placebo (McGlashan et al., 2004; Woods et al., 2003). Twelve month conversion rates were 16% for olanzapine and 38% for placebo, a statistically significant difference when controlling for baseline severity imbalance. The third study randomized 58 prodromal patients to cognitive therapy vs monitoring (Morrison et al., 2004). Cognitive therapy group showed significantly lower rates when two patients later believed to have been already psychotic were excluded.
There are clinical studies on using NMDA agonists like glycine as an intervention during the prodromal phase to prevent development of full blown sz.
Also, this may not be what you are looking for but this website has a list of risk factors of developing sz.
Things like being born in winter (because of maternal vitamin D levels), being born in urban areas, low birth weight, various infections, etc. all increase the risk of developing sz down the road.
In all honesty, I appreciate that I am on a board full of people mature enough to discuss an issue like this intelligently. Mental illness is surrounded by ridicule, blaming the victim and learned helplessness. Seeing people try to be intelligently proactive is really gratifying. My personal experience has been that most people are either too inept or immature to deal with these problems head on.
I don’t know what mental illness I had as a teenager (it developed into full blown psychosis a few months before I turned 18) but for several months beforehand I became socially withdrawn and started losing interest in hygiene and school. Having competent people willing and able to help me out would’ve made a huge difference. Maybe if I’d gotten low dose antipsychotics, stress/anxiety medications and counseling (like they gave the kids in the earlier study) it would’ve been arrested before it went too far. My experience with mental illness was a big factor in why I chose to study biochemistry in college.