Childhood-onset schizophrenia is a rare, severe, and difficult to treat form of the disease, but a new study suggests that children show a stronger response to clozapine than to other antipsychotic drugs and compared to adults treated with clozapine. Furthermore, despite the cost of clozapine and the need for regular blood testing, nearly three-quarters of the children adhered to long-term clozapine maintenance therapy, according to the study published in Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology website until August 12, 2016.
In "Strong Treatment Response and High Maintenance Rates of Clozapine in Childhood-Onset Schizophrenia," Lauren Kasoff, Judith Rapoport, MD and coauthors, National Institutes of Mental Health (Bethesda, MD), examined treatment efficacy and adherence to maintenance therapy over a 24-year period among a group of children in whom schizophrenia developed before 13 years of age. The researchers propose that the greater effectiveness of clozapine in children compared to adults may contribute to better long-term therapeutic compliance, helping to prevent relapse of symptoms.
Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institutes of Mental Health under Award Number NCT00049738. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
Article: Strong Treatment Response and High Maintenance Rates of Clozapine in Childhood-Onset Schizophrenia, Kasoff Lauren I., Ahn Kwangmi, Gochman Peter, Broadnax Diane D., and Rapoport Judith L, Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, doi:10.1089/cap.2015.0103, published online 19 January 2016.