The schizophrenia spectrum disorders, as well as the medications used to treat psychosis, have been associated with multiple adverse health effects. Adverse health effects include increased body mass index (BMI), obesity, altered glucose metabolism, problems with insulin sensitivity and dyslipidemia, and cardiovascular disease. Obesity is a serious problem for the general US adult population, and individuals with schizophrenia are two to three times more at risk for obesity. Hispanic and African-American individuals with schizophrenia have even greater vulnerability for adverse health effects.

A new initiative at the Commonwealth Research Center involves the development of health and wellness research on preventative and early interventions with the metabolic syndrome associated with atypical antipsychotic medication. David Henderson, M.D., a prominent researcher in this area, will partner with the CRC to develop the health and wellness research initiative and supervise MGH research fellows during their CRC/Massachusetts Mental Health Center rotation. The long-term plan for the Health and Wellness Research Program is to develop cognitive and pharmacologic interventions to manage the wellness of current Massachusetts Department of Mental Health consumers and preventative interventions for individuals at risk for or experiencing a first-episode of psychosis. New research in this area will articulate with the center's multicultural and other research initiatives.

Research Personnel

David Henderson, M.D.

Xiaoduo Fan, MD

Ann Cousins, MSN, APRN

Lindenmayer, J., Czobor, P., Volavka, J., Citrome, L., Sheitman, B., McEvoy, J. P., et al. (2003). Changes in glucose and cholesterol levels in patients with schizophrenia treated with typical or atypical antipsychotics. American Journal of Psychiatry, 160(2), 290-296.

Newcomer, J. W. (2004). Metabolic risk during antipsychotic treatment. Clinical Therapeutics, 26(12), 1936-1946.

Henderson, D. C. (2002). Diabetes mellitus and other metabolic disturbances induced by atypical antipsychotic agents. Current Diabetes Reports, 2(2), 135-140.

Henderson , D. C., Cagliero, E., Copeland, P. M., Borba, C. P., Evins, E., Hayden, D., Weber, M., et al. (2005). Glucose metabolism in patients with schizophrenia treated with atypical antipsychotic agents: A frequent sampled Intravenous Glucose Tolerance Test and Minimal Model Analysis. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62, 19-28.

Green, A. I., Patel, J. K., Goisman, R. M., Allison, D. B., & Blackburn, G. (2000). Weight gain from novel antipsychotic drugs: Need for action. General Hospital Psychiatry, 22(4) , 224-235.

National Diabetes Surveillance Data. Website of the CDC. Accessed 6/21/07