Need for adult-onset early psychosis programs

RESEARCH is lacking on patients who present with early psychosis as adults compared with the many studies about youth-onset psychosis, an expert says.

Dr Ajit Selvendra, consultant psychiatrist at St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne, presented data at the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists’ recent annual meeting in Darwin on the characteristics of older patients presenting with early psychosis to the hospital’s Early Psychosis Program.

He said that more than half the patients with early psychosis presenting to the program, which accepts patients aged between 16 and 65 years, were aged over 25 years.

Older patients with early psychosis presented with a different constellation of features compared with younger patients, he said.

“There’s increased types of physical or metabolic comorbidities in terms of cholesterol and diabetes… and our studies have shown less substance abuse,”