A new study published in the journal Neurology finds that some people who suffer from schizophrenia can get treatment while others may never get a chance.
The study is a rare glimpse into the treatment of a debilitating illness.
Schizophrenia is an aggressive form of dementia.
The disease has affected people in every age group and many who suffer the disease have suffered long periods of denial.
“This study really shines a light on a person’s experience of schizophrenia, because this is a very rare condition and people do not receive proper treatment,” said Dr. Jeffrey Clements, director of the University of California at San Francisco’s Center for Neuropsychiatric Research.
“There are a lot of people who have never gotten the proper help, and they don’t have a cure.”
In the study, researchers looked at records from over 1,000 people with schizophrenia who had been receiving outpatient care at the University Health System of Northern California.
Those records were reviewed by researchers, who then looked at their treatment histories and health-care utilization data.
The study found that nearly half of people with severe schizophrenia (46 percent) did not get any treatment at all, and about 15 percent of those with moderate schizophrenia (19 percent) had received treatment.
Some of the patients who had received no treatment did not even qualify for Medicaid coverage because they had been hospitalized for mental health issues.
About a third of people in the study had no contact with mental health professionals, and just 8 percent had received any formal care from a mental health professional.
The researchers said this study is the first to look at a large population of people and show that people who are treated with antipsychotic medications may have a longer-lasting benefit.
“In terms of the potential long-term effects of antipsychotics on cognition, the most promising is that they can decrease symptoms over time, and this has been shown in studies of older people with dementia, so it’s something we hope will continue to improve,” Dr. Clements said.
“But the most important thing we want to understand is the long-lasting effects of the medications, so that we can design interventions that can reduce symptoms for as long as we can.”
Schizophrenias symptoms can range from mild to severe.
The symptoms can include thoughts of “crazy,” hallucinations and delusions, and sometimes violent outbursts.
Symptoms can also be triggered by medications such as antidepressants and antipsychosis medications.
The symptoms can be treated with a combination of medication and therapy, or the patient may be on an antidepressant or have an antipsychostic medication that is currently under clinical study.