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The Outlook For Schizophrenia

Looking Ahead


Updated June 12, 2006

The outlook for people with schizophrenia has improved over the last 25 years. Although no totally effective therapy has yet been devised, it is important to remember that many people with the illness improve enough to lead independent, satisfying lives. As we learn more about the causes and treatments of schizophrenia, we should be able to help more patients achieve successful outcomes.

Studies that have followed people with schizophrenia for long periods, from the first episode to old age, reveal that a wide range of outcomes is possible. When large groups of patients are studied, certain factors tend to be associated with a better outcome – for example, a pre-illness history of normal social, school, and work adjustment. However, the current state of knowledge, does not allow for a sufficiently accurate prediction of long-term outcome.

Although progress has been made toward better understanding and treatment of schizophrenia, continued investigation is urgently needed. As the lead U.S. agency for research on mental disorders, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) conducts and supports a broad spectrum of mental illness research from molecular genetics to large-scale epidemiologic studies of populations. Similar research is ongoing at colleges and universities throughout the world. This wide-ranging research effort, including basic studies on the brain, will continue to illuminate processes and principles important for understanding the causes of schizophrenia and for developing more effective treatments.

Resources: Information, support, and advocacy organizations:

Colonial Place Three
2107 Wilson Blvd., Suite 300
Arlington, VA 22201-3042
Phone: 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or (703) 524-7600
Web site: www.nami.org

National Mental Health Association (NMHA)
1021 Prince Street
Alexandria, VA 22314-2971
Phone: 1-800-969-6942 or (703) 684-7722
Web site: www.nmha.org

National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Clearinghouse
1211 Chestnut Street, Suite 1000
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: 1-800-553-4key (4539) or (215) 751-1810

National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD)
60 Cutter Mill Road, Suite 404
Great Neck, NY 11021
Phone: (516) 829-0091
Web site: www.narsad.org

For more information on research into the brain, behavior, and mental disorders contact:

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Office of Communication and Public Liaison
Information Resources and Inquiries Branch
6001 Executive Boulevard, Rm. 8184, MSC 9663
Bethesda, MD 20892-9663
Phone: 301-443-4513
Fax: 301-443-4279
E-mail: nimhinfo@nih.gov
Fax back system: Mental Health FAX4U at 301-443-5158
Web site: www.nimh.nih.gov

What is Schizophrenia?
What Causes Schizophrenia?
Treatments For Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia Helpers
The Outlook for Schizophrenia

Source: National Institutes of Mental Health articles and brochures on Schizophrenia

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