Schizophrenia remains a poorly understood and yet a profoundly serious condition among all the major medical illnesses. A major shift in the past 5 years has been witnessed among psychiatrists with the belief now that diagnosis and intervention early may have a positive influence on the outcome of schizophrenia. This shift has led to searching for key diagnostic clusters to enhance early diagnosis as well as to concerted efforts to find biomarkers of disease and disease progression. To that end, this issue of the Psychiatric Clinics of North America is dedicated to these contemporary issues that promote 'early intervention' in schizophrenia. Distinguished academic clinicians and neuroscientists provide comprehensive overviews of the present state of knowledge on the epidemiology, early clinical characteristics, and diagnostic changes, proposed pathogenesis, neurobiology, and treatment requirements for this disorder. The optimism and excitement for real progress in schizophrenia research treatment is incorporated into this text. The current state of knowledge is substantial, academically credible, and scientifically based. Topics on the subject of early intervention in and diagnosis of schizophrenia include: The Nosology of Schizophrenia: Defining Illness Boundaries Based upon Symptoms; The Neurodevelopmental Hypothesis of Schizophrenia: a Critical Synthesis; Predicting Risk and the Emergence of Schizophrenia; Is Early Intervention for Psychosis Feasible and Effective?; Can Neuroimaging Be Used to Define Phenotypes and Course of Schizophrenia?; Reliable Biomarkers and Predictors of Schizophrenia and Its Treatment; From Study to Practice: Enhancing Clinical Trials Methods Toward 'Real World' Outcomes; Relapse Prevention in Schizophrenia; Antipsychotic Polypharmacy: Every Clinician's 'Dirty Little Secret'; Cognitive Remediation: Retraining the Brain in Schizophrenia; Peers and Peer-led Interventions; Homelessness; and The Emerging Role of Technology and Social Media in Caring for People with Schizophrenia. Each presentation in this publication includes an Overview, Implications for Practice, with Summarizations of Important Clinical and Learning Points.
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