Improving the outcome in treatment-resistant schizophrenia

The prognosis for sufferers of schizophrenia is markedly improved the quicker patients receive appropriate treatment. King’s College London is coordinating a European project called Crestar that will help to identify the most appropriate treatments for sufferers and improve their prognosis.

comforting person

By using a vast pool of clinical data and DNA samples taken from across Europe the team of researchers are able to establish the likelihood of a patient’s response to anti-psychotic drugs including clozapine, which is reserved for drug-resistant patients. 

The researchers then used this resource to establish what characteristics were common between groups who were and were not resistant to anti-psychotic drugs.  The study paves the way for the development of biomarkers, genomic tests and clinical decision-making tools that enable doctors to see if a particular patient should be started on clozapine sooner in their illness.

A follow-on project named Strata, funded by the UK’s Medical Research Council, has begun to combine Crestar insights with neuroimaging measures and will continue this wide collaboration to make measurable improvements to the lives of those with mental health problems.

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