Update on Risk and Resilience Factors, and the Nature and Effectiveness of Efforts to Prevent Schizophrenia

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Length: 1 hour

Steven M. Silverstein, PhD

Recent years have seen advances in our understanding of risk factors for schizophrenia, and the development of clinics for young people at risk for the syndrome.  At the end of 2013, what have we learned from such efforts, and how close are we to being able to prevent schizophrenia from occurring?  This presentation addresses these issues by: 1) reviewing the latest data on risk and resilience factors related to schizophrenia; 2) describing approaches to identifying people at high risk for schizophrenia; 3) discussing methodological, societal and political issues involved in making changes that might reduce the risk of schizophrenia; and 4) describing data on the effectiveness of high-risk clinics, as well as suggestions to obtain better outcomes.  Among other conclusions, it is suggested that: 1) intervention must begin at an earlier age than is current practice, and this can be done in a non-stigmatizing manner; and 2) we may be able to improve our understanding of risk and resilience factors by examining other conditions where the prevalence of schizophrenia is far below that in the general population.

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