“Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently approved the use of aripiprazole and risperidone for adolescents with schizophrenia, few controlled data are available to help guide clinicians regarding the management of children and adolescents with schizophrenia who fail to respond to these standard 'first-line' antipsychotic treatments,” according to Dr. Sanjiv Kumra. Dr. Kumra is one of the authors of a new study to be published in the March 1st issue of Biological Psychiatry, which was undertaken to help fill this gap in knowledge.
The authors recruited 39 children, 10-18 years of age, who had already failed to respond to at least two antipsychotic treatments, to participate in a 12-week, double-blind, randomized study – the most rigorous of clinical trial designs. After initial assessments, the patients received treatment with either clozapine or “high-dose” olanzapine (doses that exceed the package insert recommendations) and were monitored for improvement in their symptoms. The researchers discovered that clozapine was approximately twice as likely to produce a treatment response as olanzapine. Both positive symptoms (psychosis) and negative symptoms (blunted emotional response, reduced motivation) responded better to clozapine. John H. Krystal, M.D., Editor of Biological Psychiatry and affiliated with both Yale University School of Medicine and the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, comments on the findings: “Olanzapine is among the most effective antipsychotic medications, so the distinctive effectiveness of clozapine in this study could be very important.”
Dr. Kumra discusses this patient population: “The majority of these youth had histories of multiple hospitalizations, extreme violence, suicidality and trauma prior to study enrollment. Without appropriate intervention it is likely that many would have ended up in long-term care institutions, psychiatric prison settings, and/or experienced early death from drug use, violence, or suicide.” So, this preliminary data is hopeful, indicating that proper and effective treatment may be available for these adolescents, although there are also concerns.
Both medications produced significant weight gain and associated metabolic abnormalities. Dr. Krystal also adds that “clozapine has important side effects that have discouraged its prescription to children.” Dr. Kumra agrees, stating that “although clozapine is often considered as a treatment of ‘last resort’ because of its associated risk of agranulocytosis [a severe reduction in the number of white blood cells in the body], the striking symptom reduction observed in this clinical trial make apparent that clozapine has truly revolutionized the care of youth with treatment-refractory schizophrenia.”
Dr. Krystal concludes: “The long-term risks of medications, such as clozapine and olanzapine, will need to be weighed against their potential benefits. Thus, additional research will be needed to follow-up on this exciting but very preliminary finding.”
Jayne Dawkins | alfa
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University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
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