Quantcast
Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

What Is The Future Of Schizophrenia?

July 10, 2009

22nd Congress of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP), 12 – 16 September 2009, Istanbul, Turkey

Professor William T. Carpenter from the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, University of Maryland School of Medicine, USA, will present the major directions of current scientific activities and point to the clinical implications of this paradigm shift, which is influencing virtually all aspects of schizophrenia research. He will explain that impaired cognition and negative symptoms represent attractive indications for drug development, raising the possibility of very early intervention and secondary prevention.

Schizophrenia is a major public health problem: Affecting almost 1% of the world’s population, it takes an enormous economic and social toll in addition to the distress, dysfunction, disability and mortality for those afflicted with this disease. A century of work has been based on designs that conceptualize schizophrenia as a single disease entity, despite recognition that schizophrenia must have scientific status of a syndrome in the absence of proof of a single disease process. In recent decades, separate domains of pathology have been defined, each with its own life history and only loosely linked with the other domains. A paradigm shift has been proposed, moving the focus of basic and therapeutic study away from schizophrenia as a disease entity onto specific domains of pathology. The implications are profound, and this work has been most influential in the evaluation of drug therapies. Anti-schizophrenia drugs have been shown to have efficacy for psychosis per se, but not for critical aspects such as impaired cognition and so called negative symptoms, which determine the long-term morbidity of schizophrenia. Thus, these unmet treatment needs are clinical targets for drug discovery involving novel therapeutic pathways. Professor William T. Carpenter from the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, University of Maryland School of Medicine, USA, will present the major directions of current scientific activities and point to the clinical implications of this paradigm shift, which is influencing virtually all aspects of schizophrenia research. He will explain that impaired cognition and negative symptoms represent attractive indications for drug development, raising the possibility of very early intervention and secondary prevention.

—————

On The Net:

AlphaGalileo