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Network Profile

The German Research Network on Schizophrenia is in the meantime one of 14 competence networks in the field of medicine. It is supported by the Federal Ministry for Research and Education, which aims to bring together the leading research institutes (horizontal network) and qualified routine care facilities (vertical network) to provide better care for patients affected by a disorder with high rates of morbidity and / or mortality.

Approximately 1% of the population worldwide will develop Schizophrenia at at least one point in their lives. Despite modern treatment techniques, the disorder still presents a considerable burden to the sufferers and their relatives. Around two thirds of cases take a chronic form. 10 to 15% of suffers commit suicide. Schizophrenia is the most expensive psychological disorder, with direct and indirect treatment costing a total of approximately EUR 3.5 billion.

The early recognition and treatment of the illness, as well as exhausting available treatment options, helps to reduce the debilitating duration of illness. As a result, the Competence network Schizophrenia has the following aims:

  • Early discovery and recognition of people at risk of developing schizophrenia through the development and
  • Evaluation of an early recognition inventory to optimize the risk prevention of first-episodes through psychological and pharmacological early treatment in people identified to be at risk
  • Prevention of first manifestations by treating people at risk early with psychological and pharmacological treatment
  • Optimization of acute and long term treatment of first episodes of schizophrenia
  • Relapse-prophylaxis through improved relapse prediction and early intervention
  • Improved treatment quality through the use of guidelines in in- and outpatient treatment practices
  • Prevention of the illness becoming chronic through specific rehabilitation
  • Researching brain-biological and genetic foundations of disorders
  • Application of findings of basic research to treatment practice
  • Cost-use analysis of innovative treatment procedures
  • Improvement of education and information for lay people, relatives and experts through specific application of knowledge

The Research Network was initiated by the Departments of Psychiatry at the Heinrich-Heine University, Düsseldorf and the Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich. The application to form the CN took place in 1998 in cooperation with other research institutions, in particular, Bonn, Cologne, Heidelberg-Mannheim, Tübingen and Freiburg.



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