Schizophrenia clinical trials
If you or someone you care about has schizophrenia, you might consider participating in a clinical trial to help with the development of a new treatment. Most people with the disease get a combination of medicine and therapy to manage their symptoms. But you may have to try different antipsychotic drugs to find one that helps you, and those often have serious side effects.
Researchers are working to find safer and more effective options. That’s where joining a clinical trial can help. These studies help pave the way to a brighter future for people with schizophrenia. Participants may get treatment and are seen by a doctor more frequently at no cost to them.
We are working hard to understand why people get schizophrenia and how it causes symptoms, what medications work best with the fewest side effects, if there are identifying genes that may be involved etc. The ultimate goal is to help people suffering from Schizophrenia live better, healthier lives.
Here are several reasons why it’s important to study schizophrenia:
Many antipsychotic medications have serious negative side effects
Side effects from schizophrenia medications range from metabolic issues to uncontrolled muscle movements to seizures. The unwanted side effects associated with certain medications often result in patient refusal to take them which means many people decompensate. Schizophrenia studies aid in the development of treatment drugs with fewer side effects.
People with schizophrenia are more likely to die prematurely
Schizophrenia can negatively affect all parts of a person’s life, not just their mental health. Untreated schizophrenia can hinder a person’s ability to take care of themselves and make healthy choices. The most common causes of death among people with schizophrenia include: cardiovasicular disease, cancer (lung cancer in particular), diabetes, influenza, accidental death, and suicide. People with schizophrenia are expected to live only 70% of the average lifespan.
People with schizophrenia are more likely to be homeless
Up to 6% of people with schizophrenia are homeless. The debilitating symptoms associated with schizophrenia can make it difficult to hold jobs, maintain relationships, and accomplish goals. Without a strong support network and effective treatment, the risk of homelessness increases.
Schizophrenia is linked to higher risk of suicide
Many people who are unable to find relief from their symptoms of schizophrenia experience feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and worthlessness. This is particularly true for those with higher IQs or high achievers in adolescence or early adulthood.
Schizophrenia costs as much as $150 billion annually in the United States
This includes nearly $38 billion in direct health care costs, $9 billion in non-health care costs (judicial, legal, etc), and $117 billion in indirect costs (lost wages, caregivers, etc). These numbers are from a 2013 study. The total costs stated in this study had doubled since 2002 ($62.7 billion).
Schizophrenia studies provide hope for the future
Research studies can help us learn more about schizophrenia, and the more we know, the more we can help the people who need it most. Effective treatments for people with schizophrenia ultimately benefits us all.
If you or someone you love is interested in participating in a Schizophrenia clinical trial, reach out to us at Green Mountain Research Institute, located in Rutland, VT.