HSC Joins Study to Improve Schizophrenia Treatment

NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ALBUQUERQUE, NM – UNM’s Department of Psychiatry has been selected to participate in a research study known as the RAISE Early Treatment Program (ETP).

UNM’s Health Sciences Center is one of 35 locations across the U.S. that will be carrying out ETP, a study looking at the best ways to help people in the earliest stages of schizophrenia reduce their likelihood of experiencing long-term disability. The ETP study is part of the National institute of Mental Health’s (NIMH) Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Episode (RAISE) Project. ETP is one of two research teams that NIMH has funded under the RAISE Project, which aims to intervene at the earliest signs of schizophrenia. RAISE seeks to develop interventions that can be tested in real-world treatment settings and be quickly put into practice should they prove successful. “We are pleased to have the UNM Health Sciences Center’s Department of Psychiatry as a member of the ETP team. We believe that the participation of the psychiatry department and its staff are essential to the success of ETP and RAISE,” says ETP Director John Kane, M.D., of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, NY. ETP is recruiting people between the ages of 16 and 40 who are experiencing the early stages of schizophrenia and related disorders. Symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, and strange thinking patterns. The study will compare two different ways of providing treatment.Both treatments are designed to provide a personwith treatment soon after he or she experiences the early signs of schizophrenia. Participants will be offered mental health services, such as medication and psychosocial therapy.These strategies are all aimed at promoting symptom reduction and improving life functioning. “We’re excited to be part of this national effort advancing the study of, and early treatment for, schizophrenia,” remarks Steve Adelsheim, M.D., director for the UNM Rural & Community Behavioral Health Center. “The RAISE Early Treatment Program is a strong model that ultimately should improve the health and well-being of our clients.” Schizophrenia and related illnesses often strike young people in their prime. However, many people do not seek treatment until they have had severe symptoms for a long time. Although the exact causes of the disease have not yet been determined, current treatments can help people with schizophrenia live independent and fulfilling lives in their communities. ETP is part of theNational Institute of Mental Health's(NIMH)Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Episode (RAISE) Project, under Contract No. HHSN-271-2009-00019C. It is one of two research teams conducting the RAISE Project that are being supported in whole or in part with Federal funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the NIMH, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services. For more information on activities of the NIMH RAISE project, seewww.nimh.nih.gov/RAISE. For more information on the RAISE Early Treatment Program in New Mexico, call 1888-NM-EARLY (663-2759). For more information on UNM’s Department of Psychiatry, visithttp://hsc.unm.edu/som/psychiatry/.

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