Why sometimes resolving psychosis does not lead to full recovery in schizophrenia? Why is clozapine superior to other antipsychotics in treating resistant psychosis? What can we do when clozapine fails?
Why is studying schizophrenia patients on clozapine interesting?
Clozapine is the gold standard for treatment resistant schizophrenia (TRS), a group of patients suffering with the severe end of the disorder. Despite its superior efficacy, about half of subjects who take it so not adequately respond to treatment. This is relevant because it provides a unique research opportunity with two clozapine patient cohorts: resistants responders.
Our group aims to understand the factors underlying persistence of psychosis and other key symptoms in schizophrenia, such as negative and cognitive symptoms. These symptoms include lack of motivation, social isolation or poor memory among others, and cause distress to patients, relatives and carers. We helped to develop new scales to evaluate negative symptoms, such as the BNSS, which will improve our understanding.
We work closely with the local Clozapine Clinic at our partner NHS trust, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT). The clinic cares for one of the largest UK populations on clozapine. The clinic also specialises in monitoring clozapine side effects, becuase it is often forgotten despite causing great burden. We actively study ways to improve the quality of life of these population.
Who is helping us?
We divide the research in the group into core research and collaborations with other research groups. Core research is supported by the MRC/Wellcome Trust Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute, CPFT, BRC, Department of Psychiatry and NARSAD. Please, click here for info about publications and news/awards.