Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"Spontaneous recovery" in schizophrenia

I just found this article from the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 2007. This statement is striking ...

Patients with schizophrenia who had removed themselves or been removed from antipsychotic medications showed significantly better global functioning and outcome than those still being treated with antipsychotics. Detailed analyses of those patients with schizophrenia on antipsychotic medications versus those not on medications at the 15-year follow-ups also were conducted. These analyses indicated that in addition to the significant differences in global functioning between these groups, 19 of the 23 schizophrenia patients (83%) with uniformly poor outcome at the 15-year follow-ups were on antipsychotic medications.
Not good, not at all. Lots of issues involved here, especially that the possibility that those who go off medication did not have such a severe condition. Much more worryingly though is that those on medication generally declined in function, whereas those on medication had a much greater chance of improvement.

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