Treatment Approaches That Help Improve Outcomes in Individuals in the Early Phase of Schizophrenia
Presenter: Joseph Ventura, Ph.D.
Research Psychologist with the Aftercare Program, Director of Cognitive Training, and Director of Assessment and Functional Outcome
UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior
Monday, January 24, 2022, 7:30 p.m.
The early phase of schizophrenia is thought to be a critical period for providing treatments that have been proven helpful in promoting recovery. Several studies show that in the early phase of schizophrenia, various forms of psychosocial treatments are associated with achieving desired outcomes.
This talk will focus on several of these key treatments. Several scientific and accepted statistical methods were used to compare the success of these treatments by examining subsequent levels of cognitive performance, daily functioning, and changes in symptoms. The findings from these studies demonstrate the success of several types of psychosocial treatment approaches provided to individuals in the early phase of schizophrenia. All of these early interventions, especially when there is active involvement in the treatment, showed great promise for promoting recovery during the early course.
The meeting will be virtual. Please contact Nami South Bay President, Paul Stansbury (firstname.lastname@example.org) for remote access information.
Our NAMI South Bay May Monthly Meeting will be another virtual meeting, continuing our “Ask the Doctor” series. Monday, May 17, 2021 at 7:30 PM
“Ask the Doctor” About Schizophrenia
Presenter: Dr. Charles Lee, M.D.
In our “Ask the Doctor” Series, Dr. Lee will be presenting on the mental illness of schizophrenia. Dr. Lee teaches in the Psychiatry Department at Harbor UCLA Medical Center. He received his medical degree from UCLA and completed his residency in psychiatry at University of California San Francisco. He has worked in an Assertive community Treatment program at Westside Behavioral. health. He also worked for the St. Vincent Medical Center in New York before coming to Harbor UCLA Medical Center. In additional to clinical work, he teaches and supervises psychiatry residents and medical students at Harbor.
7:30 PM Monday, February 26, 2018
Dr. Michael Makhinson, the Co-Director of the Harbor UCLA Inpatient Psychiatry Program, will speak this evening, Monday 2/26, at 7:30 p.m. on the mental illness of Schizophrenia. The meeting will be held at First Lutheran Church, 2900 Carson Street, in Torrance.
Dr. Makhinson received his medical degree from the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and his doctorate in psychology from the UCLA/Neuropsychiatric Institute. He will provide an overview of the illness, and updates on treatments and medications. It will also be an opportunity to ask the Doctor questions about the illness. We plan to have a series on the major mental illness in the coming months which allow us to get the latest information on the illness and be able to ask the doctor questions about that illness and related issues.
Have schizophrenia or care for someone who does?
Help inform better medications by sharing your experiences with increased or more intense symptoms of schizophrenia that may have led to hospitalization or community-based treatment—either as a person with schizophrenia or as a caregiver.
Your responses will provide real-life insights that will help research into medications that may help symptoms of schizophrenia from getting worse.
If you qualify and complete the anonymous research survey, you will receive a $50 Visa gift card.
If you’re interested or have questions, email email@example.com or call (888) 780-4167.
The deadline to see if you qualify for the research study is
So, email or call today!
What do you need to take part in the research study?
- An email address
- Mailing address (so you can receive your $50 Visa gift card)
- Internet access and a smartphone, tablet or computer
- Willingness to answer questions about your experience with increased or more intense symptoms of schizophrenia that may have led to hospitalization or community-based treatment—either as someone with schizophrenia or caring for somebody with schizophrenia
Questions? Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School encourages a wide array of supports that could help reduce the likelihood of developing schizophrenia in children at high familial risk, according to the journal Schizophrenia Bulletin. The article, written by Cindy Liu, Ph.D., and colleagues, says that often children born to parents with schizophrenia exhibit subtle but visible signs that can predict later development of psychoses. The signs can include neuromotor problems, minor physical anomalies, cognitive difficulties, antisocial behavior, and problems with speech, language, or hearing.
Of course, these things are not determinative. Many things, including childhood adversity and life stress also may contribute to risk. Still, focusing on high-familial-risk children “may be the most practical strategy for early intervention at this time,” Liu concludes, recommending interventions that might include enhancing parental skills, increasing social support, applying psychotherapy for parents, prenatal care for women with psychoses, and ensuring access to important psychiatric, social, educational, and legal resources.
More research is needed to know which interventions are most effective in terms of function and cost.
According to a July 2015 article by Anna Medaris Miller for U.S. News and World Report, there are “lots of potential reasons someone might hear voices, including anxiety, stress, depression and a history of trauma.”
Of course, all of these are “good reasons to seek mental health help.” But don’t conclude that a mental illness diagnosis is the only outcome.
In the article, Miller quotes Lisa Forestell, the director of community support at Western Massachusetts Recovery Learning Community who has heard voices her entire life. “They’re playful and silly and they try to cheer me up when I’m sad.” She also quotes Dr. John McGrath, a professor of psychiatry at The University of Queensland in Australia and researcher at the Queensland Brain Institute whose research team found that 2.5% of the population has heard voices and 3.8% has seen something others didn’t see. Psychotic experiences, he says, “are more common than we had been taught. What we really have to do is go back and revise how these symptoms fit into the profile of mental illness.”
This isn’t to say that hallucinations are never a symptom of mental illness. The point really is that hallucinations are a symptom with a variety of possible causes, including mental illness, but possibly also stress or trauma. Dr. Joseph Pierre, co-chief of the Schizophrenia Treatment Unit at VA West Los Angeles Healthcare Center, and also discussed in the article, conducted a study that compared 118 people who hear voices at least once a month and have a psychotic diagnosis to 111 people who hear voices at least once a month but don’t have mental illness. He found differences, including the tendency for people with psychosis to hear voices more often, to hear them express negative emotions. The diagnosed psychotic subjects also had little control over their voices. In his study, Pierre compared hearing voices to coughs — “common experiences that are often, but not always, symptoms of pathology associated with a larger illness.”
To read the article see Living With the Voices in Your Head.
A new medication, now in phase 3 clinical development for the treatment of schizophrenia, is showing great promise, according to its manufacturer and developer, Intra-Cellular Therapies Inc., as presented at the end of March at the 15th International Congress on Schizophrenia Research (ICOSR) in Colorado Springs and this week at the 4th Biennial Schizophrenia International Research Society (SIRS) Conference in Florence, Italy.
“This drug has a different pharmacological profile than any of the other antipsychotics. We believe the unique serotonergic-dopaminergic-glutamatergic pharmacological profile represents a new approach to the treatment of schizophrenia in a single stand-alone therapy.”
According to Intra-Cellular Therapies:
“Our lead product candidate, ITI-007, possesses a mechanism of action targeting multiple brain systems and may allow a physician to fine tune the drug’s action in the brain by simple dose adjustments. At the lowest doses, ITI-007 has been demonstrated to act primarily as a potent 5-HT2A serotonin receptor antagonist. As the dose is increased, additional benefits are derived from the engagement of additional drug targets, including modest dopamine receptor modulation and modest inhibition of serotonin transporters. We believe that combined interactions at these receptors may provide additional benefits above and beyond selective 5-HT2A antagonism for treating agitation, aggression and sleep disturbances in diseases that include dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and autism spectrum disorders, while avoiding many of the side effects associated with more robust dopamine receptor antagonism. As the dose of ITI-007 is further increased, leading to moderate dopamine receptor modulation, inhibition of serotonin transporters, and indirect glutamate modulation, these actions complement the complete blockade of 5-HT2A serotonin receptors. In this dose range, we believe that ITI-007 will be useful in treating the symptoms associated with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder and other neuropsychiatric diseases.”