Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness characterized by delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, inappropriate or blunted emotional responses, loss of motivation, and cognitive deficits. The illness usually has its onset, early adulthood, just as individuals are completing high school, college, or embarking on their working life. Approximately 1% of the world's population, irrespective of nationality or culture, is affected. The total economic cost (calculated by lost wages, as well as medical expenses) to the United States alone is approximately $65 billion per year, including $19 billion per year in direct medical costs. The human cost is extremely high as well; 20% of individuals with the illness attempt suicide and 10% succeed. Many individuals end up leading lives of social isolation, homelessness, and hopelessness. The life expectancy in the United States for a person affected by schizophrenia is 61. In the past, physicians typically set low expectations for recovery for patients with this illness, inconsistent with the much higher expectations for recovery in persons with depression or bipolar disorder who experience psychosis as a part of their illness. Also, older medications such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine) and haloperidol (Haldol) and others have serious side effects such as causing problems with movement and exacerbating the motivational and cognitive impairments accompanying the illness, limiting the expectations for recovery. However, with the discovery that clozapine (Clozaril) in 1988 could in fact treat not only the hallucination and delusions of the illness (the so-called positive symptoms of schizophrenia) but also the affective blunting, loss of motivation, and some cognitive deficits (the negative symptoms of the illness), physicians now hold a greater expectation for recovery cognitively, socially, and vocationally. Most of the resources of Community Clinic Research as a clinic are directed towards conducting clinical trials of investigational drugs for schizophrenia with the hope that some of these agents may ultimately dramatically minimize or eliminate the impact of this illness on people's lives.
We are a community of Health Care Professionals providing access to investigational medications