Schizophrenia News: December 2014

  • Individuals diagnosed with bipolar and schizophrenia are at increased risk of testing HIV positive because of their risky sexual behavior, according to research. In a study, 48.5 percent of those with at least one mental illness had tested positive for HIV.  Only 35 percent of those without a mental illness tested positive.


    The lead author of the study suggested that mental healthcare providers should routinely have their patients tested for HIV/AIDS as part of their treatment.


    It's thought people with mental illnesses are more likely to engage in high-risk behaviors that they can't control, like sexual intercourse with multiple partners and unprotected sex, as well as intervenous drug use.

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    (Study indicates bipolar, schizophrenics are more likely to test positive for HIV, retrieved on 12/7/2014 from


    New research indicates that baseline symptom severity in patients with schizophrenia may influence antipsychotic efficacy.


    Investigators, led by Toshi A. Furukawa, MD, PhD, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine/School of Public Health, Japan, note that doctors can expect benefits of anti-psychotics for the full spectrum of patients who are likely to be treated for acute schizophrenia.


    Near the mildest end of the spectrum, patients benefit less in terms of symptom improvement.  Low doses of antipsychotics with less side effects might be better for these patients.


    However, since antipsychotics prevent relapses among patients in remission, "apparently mildly symptomatic to asymptomatic patients may need to be on maintenance treatment," according to Dr. Furukawa.


    The researchers conducted a patient-level meta-analysis of three randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing olanzapine (multiple brands) and risperidone (Risperdal) with placebo in the treatment of patients with acute schizophrenia.


    Also reviewed were three RCTs comparing amisulpride (multiple brands) against placebo in treatment of schizophrenia patients with predominantly negative symptoms.


    "The greater the degree of severity at baseline, the greater the magnitude of the difference between active treatment and placebo," according to the article.


    The study had no commercial funding.


    (Symptom severity may predict antipsychotic efficacy, retrieved on 12/15/2014 from

Published On: December 16, 2014