Treatment and Outcomes in Adolescents With Schizophrenia

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The pharmacologic treatment and assessment of outcomes in adolescents with schizophrenia have been inadequately addressed. Structural brain imaging and brain function studies both point to a continuity between adolescent and adult stages of schizophrenia. Because the teenage population seems to be less tolerant of physical side effects, the advent of atypical antipsychotic medications may offer increased safety and efficacy. Studies support the notion that adolescent illness is associated with a more severe form of schizophrenia and that length of illness before treatment is correlated with longterm outcome. As a consequence, the authors recommend assertive pharmacologic intervention in adolescents with schizophrenia and future research focused on the issues of treatment and outcome in teenagers suffering a psychotic disorder.

J Clin Psychiatry 1998;59(suppl 1):50–54