New data suggests Seroquel improves quality of life in first episode schizophrenia

Davos, Switzerland 13 February 2004 New data presented at the sixth scientific meeting of the European First Episode Schizophrenia Network, show that patients suffering their first episode of psychosis benefit from significant symptom improvement and enhancement of overall quality of life, when treated with the atypical antipsychotic, Seroquel (quetiapine).

Interim one year follow-up results of the two year Southwark First Onset Psychosis Team (F1RST) study in London, UK, demonstrate that patients treated with quetiapine presented statistically significant improvements across positive, negative and depressive symptoms after six weeks of treatment, and that these improvements were sustained over one year. Improvements were also noted in quality of life and reported side effects were negligible.

Dr Lyn Pilowsky, lead investigator of the (F1RST) study, based at the Institute of Psychiatry, London commented, "The onset of first episode psychosis is a critical period where patients can be highly responsive to therapy, but may also have greater sensitivity to treatment side effects, particularly extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS).

Treatments need to manage the symptoms effectively, and not cause the debilitating side effects that can be associated with some medications. Our study demonstrates that quetiapine achieves these requirements well."

Dr Pilowsky concluded, "Clinicians should recognise that these findings support the use of quetiapine in the early treatment of first-episode schizophrenia. Feedback also tells us that patients in our study responded well to the (F1RST) team's unique and positive approach."

The F1RST study is a detailed evaluation of the clinical effectiveness of quetiapine in a cohort of 33 patients experiencing first-episode psychosis. Measures used to rate efficacy in terms of symptom severity included the PANSS, the CDS, and the CGI scales. Overall function was rated with the GAS. Subjective qualify of life

Contact: Rupert Doggett
Shire Health International

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