Early interventions in risk groups for schizophrenia: what are we waiting for?

Intervention strategies in adolescents at ultra high-risk (UHR) for psychosis are promising for reducing conversion to overt illness, but have only limited impact on functional outcome. Recent studies suggest that cognition does not further decline during the UHR stage. As social and cognitive impairments typically develop before the first psychotic episode and even years before the UHR stage, prevention should also start much earlier in the groups at risk for schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders. Early intervention strategies could aim to improve stress resilience, optimize brain maturation, and prevent or alleviate adverse environmental circumstances.


My therapist said I may have prodromal sz. But sz doesn’t run in my family so she said that’s a protective factor. (So I don’t think I’m “ultra” high risk) I really hope I don’t have it, but she did give me the option of starting antipsychotics for this early intervention you’re talking about.

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Hi Anna, Early intervention strategies sometimes involve a low does of aps.

Also, staying in school or trying to work or volunteer, staying connected to friends and family, exercising, sleeping well, eating well and making sure there are no nutritional deficits. Also preventive: not using illicit drugs including marijuana. Have goals and work towards them while keeping stress low.

“Preventing Schizophrenia” from this site: http://schizophrenia.com/prev1.htm


Things that like always sound all well and good, but I’m not sure how it’s supposed to work in actual practice.

Psychotic MI runs in my family, but nobody around me ever knew that, in school and such.

And frankly my mental health deteriorated terribly in my early-mid teens due to violence and other issues at home, but nobody ever said a word to me about anything. Even when I wasn’t showering or changing my clothes, teachers just stopped engaging me, I went from teacher’s pet to a student that was invisible.

So I would say these well-meaning researchers and whatnot have some other hurdles they need to think about first.

How do we go from kids whose obvious MI warning signs are getting totally ignored, and who are isolated in bad homes, to these same kids getting into programs to help during the prodromal phase?

Society at least here in the U.S. doesn’t even have any places that people can just go if they think they may be afflicted. There is nothing you can do without $$$$ or insurance, and supportive parents if you are a minor, let alone anyone approaching students in middle/high school and offering help.

Like I mean don’t get me wrong anybody, I think the efforts and research are great, but how in the world is it actually going to be used.


I agree with you.