New advice on treating psychosis

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ANTI-psychotic medicine should not be the first option offered to people at risk of developing schizophrenia, researchers have claimed.

Clinicians should be “extremely careful” about prescribing antipsychotics to young people, because only a tenth will go on to develop more serious conditions, a report has suggested.

A study by five universities including Glasgow University suggested that “benign” psychological treatments, including Cognitive Therapy (CT), were effective in reducing the severity of psychotic experiences that can lead to conditions like schizophrenia.

The study found the frequency, seriousness, and intensity of psychotic symptoms that may lead to more serious conditions was reduced by counselling and CT. The landmark research could pave the way for coherent treatment for young people at risk of developing psychotic illnesses, which is not currently in place.