Lege Artis Medicinae

[Is the evolvement of schizophrenia preventable?]

SZENDI István

JANUARY 20, 2018

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2018;28(01-02)

[Considering the developmental nature of the majority of mental disorders, these days prevention has increasingly come into the focus of psychiatry. Schizophrenia - one of the disorders that are most frequently associated with psychosis, one of the most serious psychiatric syndromes - is the leading cause of permanent disability of the young adult generation. A prodrome lasting for several years precedes the onset of the first psychotic episode, which offers an opportunity for preventive interventions. Currently, we have two strategies for the predicition of the outburst of psychotic disorders. The Ultrahigh-risk approach can predict the first psychotic episode regardless of diagnosis, while the Basic symptom strategy predicts the development of schizophrenia specifically. However, there is an inverse relationship between the sensitivity and the specificity of different predictive criteria, which raises clinical and ethical dilemmas for the doctors. The methods of repeated assessments of the help-seeking individuals’ clinical states with designation of syndrome stages, and multivariate analyses of emprirically derived markers have proven promising tools for establishing more balance between the sensitivity and specificity of predictive criteria. Interven­tions of the secondary prevention aim to decrease the morbidity of the underlying pathomechanisms, and to help individuals’ coping with alterations of their experiences. We can consider here the psychosocial interventions as evidence based choices, which we can combine with certain food supplements and well-chosen psychopharmacons de­pending on the clinical state. With our in­terventions, we can influence the process of the individual development with vulnerable basis and steer it toward resilience. ]

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