March 5, 2001
schizophrenia drug trial
By Sarah Goodwin
Researchers in psychiatry and behavioral science have been selected to participate in the Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness (CATIE) project.
This research study will evaluate the clinical effectiveness of five
antipsychotic drugs in the treatment of schizophrenia, along with psychotic
and disruptive behaviors associated with Alzheimers disease.
Emory is the only site in Georgia selected to participate in this $42.1
million, multicenter study, funded by the National Institute of Mental
Health (NIMH) and led by a team at the University of North Carolina at
Emory is privileged to be a part of this research, which will redefine
the role of antipsychotics as treatments for certain mental illnesses,
said Charles Nemeroff, co-principal investigator and Harris Professor
and chair of psychiatry and behavioral sciences. By being selected
to participate in this trial, [NIMH] recognizes Emory as a leading department
of psychiatry in this field of study.
The CATIE program is part of an initiative by NIMH to address important
questions in the delivery of public mental health care and the clinical
management of patients.
The project will focus on the conditions for which atypical antipsychotic
drugs are used as treatment, with an initial focus on schizophrenia and
Alzheimers disease. The goal is to establish an evidence-based protocol
that will make a fundamental difference in the way mental health professionals
treat patients with serious mental illnesses.
This is the largest single federal grant ever awarded by [NIMH],
said Joseph Bona, co-principal investigator and associate professor and
vice-chair of psychiatry and behavioral sciences. This trial will
likely redefine the way clinicians approach the management of patients
The study will run through September 2004 and will recruit roughly 1,800
patients nationally, 20 of which will be treated at Emory.
Conventional antipsychotic drugs, such as chlorpromazine and haloperidol,
have proven track records in the treatment of schizophrenia, however there
are substantial limitations with their use. This protocol will study the
efficacy, limitations and clinical appropriateness of conventional versus
newer, atypical medications in the management of patients with schizophrenia.
Although antipsychotic drugs were first developed for schizophrenia,
they are now broadly used for other disorders, including behavioral signs
and symptoms associated with Alzheimers disease and other dementias.
Despite their widespread use, however, their overall effectiveness in
these illnesses remains unclear.
For more information on the study, call 678-686-5965.