Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Antidepressants May Benefit Prepsychotic Teens

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Antidepressants May Benefit Prepsychotic Teens

Article excerpt

Treatment with antidepressants kept adolescent patients in the prepsychotic phase of schizophrenia from progressing to full psychosis or bipolar disorder more effectively than did treatment with antipsychotics, said Barbara A. Cornblatt, Ph.D., of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, and her colleagues.

Because data from previous studies suggest that mental deterioration in schizophrenia patients might begin before the first psychotic episode, treating patients before they progress to full-blown psychosis might slow progression of illness and preserve psychosocial skills, the researchers said.

To assess the effectiveness of antidepressants on preventing progression to psychosis in adolescents, Dr. Cornblatt and her associates prescribed either antidepressants or second-generation antipsychotics to 48 adolescents who met criteria for prepsychotic schizophrenia (J. Clin. Psychiatry 2007;68:546-57). Dr. Cornblatt is a consultant for Eli Lilly & Co., and she has received financial support from Janssen L.P.

The antidepressant group included 20 patients who had never been treated with antipsychotics but had received antidepressants and other medications. …

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