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Schizophr Res. 2010 Nov;123(2-3):199-207. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2010.08.012. Epub 2010 Sep 15.

The case for including Attenuated Psychotic Symptoms Syndrome in DSM-5 as a psychosis risk syndrome.

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  • 1Connecticut Mental Health Center, CT, USA.


The American Psychiatric Association Task Force on DSM-5 has recently proposed consideration of Attenuated Psychotic Symptoms Syndrome as a new diagnosis, based on nearly 15 years of prospective research in centers across the globe. The condition is also known as "psychosis risk syndrome," "at-risk mental state," "ultra-high risk," and "putative prodrome." We review evidence favoring its inclusion as a new diagnosis in DSM-5 and report new preliminary findings on DSM-IV diagnoses in current clinical use for these patients and on results of diagnostic interviews in unselected volunteers. The main evidence supporting inclusion is: (1) the patients are currently ill, (2) the patients are at high risk for getting worse, (3) no DSM-IV diagnosis accurately captures their current illness or future risk, (4) the diagnosis has been made with reliability and validity in the research setting, and (5) placement in DSM-5 would help promote the needed treatment and prevention research to enable articulation of a standard of care to benefit these patients and their families. Potential harms can be minimized by patient, family, and provider education. It will be important to demonstrate through well-designed field trials whether the diagnostic criteria can be used with reliability in everyday clinical practice.

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