Schizophrenia (cont.)

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What are potential complications of schizophrenia? What is the prognosis for schizophrenia?

Possible complications for schizophrenia range from more medical illnesses (morbidity) or shortened life span (mortality) to negative impacts on their family members as well. For example, women with schizophrenia are thought to be more likely to suffer from complications during their pregnancies, at delivery and during their children's newborn period.

Individuals with schizophrenia have more than twice the rate of death than those without the disorder. Almost half of people with schizophrenia will suffer from a substance-use disorder (for example, alcohol, marijuana, or other substance) during their lifetime. Research shows that people with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder have a better quality of life if their family members tend to be more supportive and less critical of them.

What research is being done on schizophrenia?

Cognitive remediation continues to be an experimental treatment that addresses the cognitive problems that are associated with schizophrenia (for example, memory problems, learning problems). Studies using this intervention in combination with vocational rehabilitation to improve work functioning have shown some promise, but more research is needed, particularly that which focuses on improving how well the person with schizophrenia functions in real-world situations as a result of this treatment.

Peer-to-peer treatment is a promising possible intervention since it promotes active constructive involvement from people who have schizophrenia, provides role models for individuals whose functioning is less stable, and may be accessible in individual and group settings, in person as well as by telephone or through the Internet. However, further research is necessary to demonstrate its effectiveness in decreasing symptoms or otherwise clearly improving functioning for people with schizophrenia.

In terms of weight management, more research is needed to explore how to best help people with schizophrenia retain the weight loss they achieve and even to prevent weight gain in the first place.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/14/2015

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