Psychosis Research

Disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder affect at least four percent of the Australian population and cause severe lifelong mental incapacity that starts in the teenage years.

Currently, more than 70% of the disability associated with the psychoses is completely untreatable. Virtually all of our treatments are non-specific – only research can offer the prospect of targeted treatments that act on specific brain systems.

Australia has world-renowned research centres in the neurosciences and genetics. It also has the leading psychosis research groups and high quality neuroimaging facilities co-located with clinical services. Despite these favourable conditions for a major research effort into psychotic disorders, much greater coordination is required.

A strategic direction for a national program of clinical, neuroscience, and genetic research into the psychotic disorders is urgently needed to:

  • Create critical mass of technical and clinical infrastructure,
  • Promote standardisation of measurement across research centres,
  • Support multi-centre studies of large representative clinical cohorts and their long term follow-up,
  • Enable integration of research databases nationally, and
  • Establish multi-disciplinary meeting processes for scientific exchange.

PAT’s 3 strategic research aims:

  1. Build pathways for discovery, from gene to therapy, by vertical integration of scientific activity across each level of research expertise and resource
  2. Achieve critical mass within each level of research expertise by horizontal integration of collaborating research centres across institutions, and across states and territories
  3. Actively engage consumers and carers, clinicians and policy-makers, and the general public in the promotion and development of psychosis research.


The Economic Impacts of Psychosis: Unlocking the Black Box

This publication is based on data collected in the framework of the 2010 Australian National Survey of High Impact Psychosis (SHIP). The report also uses data collected in the framework of the National Study of Low Prevalence (Psychotic) Disorders (LPDS) 1997-1998, an epidemiological and clinical investigation which was part of the National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing, Australia. Click here to read The Economic Impacts of Psychosis August 2016

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