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Study Seeking Patients with Schizophrenia in San Diego

(Outpatient/Inpatient Positive & Negative Symptoms, Cognition, Acute)

Eligibility Criteria:
To pre-qualify, you must be between the ages of ages: 18-70

A brief description of the study
Length: 8 weeks – 1 year
Visits: 8-32

There are an estimated 2.4 million adults living with schizophrenia in the United States today and that number continues to grow. It often appears in males in their late teens or early twenties and in females in their late twenties or early thirties. The symptoms of schizophrenia can be very different from one person to the next so finding the cause of this mental illness has proved to be difficult.

What is the Clinical Definition of Schizophrenia?

The clinical definition of schizophrenia is a lifelong and severe mental disorder that causes those afflicted to abnormally interpret the world around them. A combination of hallucinations, delusional thinking, and flawed logic works together to make everyday life and routines difficult to accomplish.

If you or a loved one is interested in one of our schizophrenia clinical research studies or learning more, please fill out the form or contact us today.

The symptoms of schizophrenia generally fall into two main categories: positive symptoms, which involve the distortion of normal behaviors and functioning, and negative symptoms, which reflect an absence of normal behaviors and functioning. The severity and scope of the symptoms will vary from person to person. 

Positive symptoms

Positive symptoms of schizophrenia often reflect the altered perception experienced by the individual. These are symptoms that are distortions or changes to normal functioning. They include: 

  • Hallucinations – hearing or seeing things that aren’t there
  • Delusions – beliefs that are not supported by objective facts
  • Disorganized and unpredictable behavior – problems with routine tasks, inconsistent or childlike behavior, inappropriate responses
  • Confused thoughts and speech – illogical thinking, trouble concentrating and keeping track of thoughts, jumbled speech and difficulty with conversations
  • Catatonic behavior – may involve odd and exaggerated movements, repetitive movements,  a rigid body posture, sometimes punctuated by brief episodes of excitability

Positive symptoms can be very frightening and often cause a great deal of distress to both the individual afflicted with schizophrenia and those around them. Positive symptoms often overshadow negative symptoms because of their overt nature, but they also tend to respond more favorably to medication and other forms of treatment than negative symptoms do. 

Negative symptoms

Negative symptoms present as the absence or minimization of normal behaviors. These may include:  

  • A lack of expressiveness
  • Blank looks
  • Lack of eye contact
  • Monotone speech
  • Emotional unresponsiveness
  • A lack of enthusiasm or pleasure
  • A lack of will or spontaneity
  • Loss of concentration
  • Lack of motivation
  • Social withdrawal

Negative symptoms can be difficult to notice when positive symptoms are uncontrolled—they often become more evident once the positive symptoms have been treated or have otherwise diminished. Negative symptoms are also very troubling, and they tend to be less responsive to medications and therapies, making it difficult for the individual to live a healthy and productive life. 

Further schizophrenia research is needed to help advance science and provide more treatment options for the management of positive and negative symptoms. 

Cognitive impairments are another core feature present in the majority of schizophrenia patients. Cognitive impairments related to schizophrenia tend to become more noticeable once the positive and psychotic symptoms have been treated. The severity and scope of cognitive impairments vary from person to person, but symptoms typically include one or more of the following:

  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Memory dysfunction (especially verbal working memory)
  • Poor learning and retention of verbal information
  • Inflexible thinking and trouble adapting to changes in the environment
  • Difficulty with planning

Unlike positive symptoms of schizophrenia, which tend to fluctuate, cognitive symptoms remain fairly stable.  Some patients have had success in minimizing the effects of these cognitive impairments through a combination of behavioral therapies and medication. 

Schizophrenia typically cycles through three phases: prodromal, acute, and residual. The phases repeat and cycle in order, though each individual will have their own unique experience with both the symptoms and the duration of each phase. Acute schizophrenia, also known as active schizophrenia, refers to the phase of the disorder that exhibits the most visible signs and symptoms. The symptoms during the prodromal and residual phases tend to be less severe than the symptoms that take place during the acute phase. Acute schizophrenia is recognized as active psychosis, when the individual has lost touch with reality.  During these episodes, any combination of positive, negative, and cognitive symptoms may be present, and normal functioning is extremely difficult. The goals of treatment during the acute phase include: 

  • Prevent harm
  • Control disturbed behavior
  • Reduce the severity of the symptoms
  • Determine and address the factors that led to the exacerbated symptoms

Hospitalization is often required during the acute phase, in order to reduce overstimulation, monitor for dangerous behaviors and other risk factors, and stabilize the individual. 

Schizophrenia Outpatient Trials San Diego CA

Synergy Research Centers in San Diego strives to find better treatment for the symptoms of schizophrenia, and that is why we offer schizophrenia outpatient studies. These studies will take those with schizophrenia that do not require hospitalization and introduce them to exciting new treatments. Some patients may receive a placebo while others will get treatment, with hopes of determining how effective these new treatments are. We need participants for our schizophrenia outpatient trials, so if you are interested in learning more fill out a form or give us a call at (888) 619-7272.

Who is Eligible to Participate in a Schizophrenia Study?

There are currently both inpatient and outpatient schizophrenia research studies at Synergy Research Centers in Lemon Grove for individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia. Participants must be at least 18 years old, and different studies have different age caps, ranging from 35 to 55. If you come by our office or give us a call, we will complete some additional screening to make sure you are eligible to participate in a schizophrenia study at Synergy Research Centers.

What is the Focus of the Schizophrenia Trial?

The primary focus of the study is to find better treatment methods for those who are afflicted with schizophrenia. There is currently no cure for schizophrenia, so the best we can do is effectively manage the symptoms of the disease. While there are a variety of medications currently on the market, none adequately curb the destructive symptoms of the disease. At Synergy Research Centers, we strive to find medications and treatments that will enable those with Schizophrenia to live their best lives.

*Qualified participants will receive a stipend at each scheduled visit. Transportation is available on select studies.

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