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Early identification of psychosis: Can lessons be learned from cardiac stress tests?

November 19, 2015
by Christopher Gardner

Cardiac stress tests that diagnose heart attacks before they occur could inspire studies that would detect schizophrenia before a psychotic episode, according to three Yale Psychiatry Department researchers.

In a paper published in the journal Psychopharmacology, Swapnil Gupta, MD, MBBS, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry; Mohini Ranganathan, MBBS, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry; and Deepak Cyril D’Souza, MD, MBBS, Professor of Psychiatry, discuss how lessons learned from cardiac stress testing may be applied to the early detection of psychosis.

They propose the development of a psychosis stress test that would diagnose schizophrenia before symptoms develop.

The researchers say there is an urgent need to identify people at risk of psychosis with greater precision and as early as possible.

Now, in order for physicians to diagnose someone with schizophrenia, the person must have had a psychotic episode. The researchers say that is analogous to diagnosing coronary artery disease after a heart attack.

Submitted by Christopher Gardner on November 19, 2015