As regards content, the major objective of the GRNS is to create

As regards content, the major objective of the GRNS is to create the scientific preconditions for the implementation of strategics for early detection and early intervention in the prodromal stage of the first episode (“Project Network I”), for the optimization of acute and long-term treatment in first-episode patients and for the rehabilitation in patients with residual Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical symptoms (“Project Network II”). tech support quality of care in hospitals and practices is evaluated and improved by quality assurance programs implementing the existing guidelines for outand inpatient treatment. Basic research on structural

and functional brain imaging and genetic markers investigates underlying determinants of the manifestation and re-manifestation of the illness as well as the individual response to drug treatment (“Special Network” on molecular and pharmacogenetics). Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical A number of more general projects on fighting stigma and discrimination, health care economy, postgraduate training,

quality assurance, and methodology complete the spectrum Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical of network projects (see ref 1 and for more information). Generally, the studies are multicenter studies designed in such a manner that vertical and horizontal networking is forced, essential, or at least, supported. In order to create synergy and added value as important criteria for successful networking, most, of the projects are strongly interrelated regarding conceptual background, method, and organization. The superordinate aim of these studies is to allow for an improvement of the course and the outcome of schizophrenia along with considering Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical cost-benefit aspects. Examples of these studies will be given in subsequent sections. Since some of the studies are long-term studies which finished recruitment only recently, reliable results will only be available later in 2006. Thus, the description will mainly focus on the concept of the studies Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical with regard to the improvement of the management of schizophrenia. Example I: early intervention in persons at risk of schizophrenia It is

known that the first, treatment, contact of people suffering from schizophrenia is preceded AV-951 by a period of manifest, psychotic symptoms, on average lasting for 1 year, and a prepsychotic prodromal period of about 5 years with increasing negative and unspecific symptoms and functional impairment.2 At, the same time, it has been shown that a delayed treatment, is associated with significant disadvantages for schizophrenia patients, often resulting in functional and social decline.3-6 Thus, in order to optimize outcome it seems essential to recognize and treat at-risk persons and schizophrenia patients as early as possible. For this purpose awareness programs are being carried out as a first step in several German cities within the GRNS, in order to improve utilization of newly founded early-recognition centers by at-risk persons.

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