CPFT’s resident schizophrenia expert Dr Emilio Fernandez-Egea has curated a special edition of the prestigious British Journal of Psychiatry as Guest Editor, to highlight negative symptoms of schizophrenia as an area of unmet need in mental health.
Dr Emilio Fernandez-Egea (above) was also appointed as Deputy Editor for this international journal last year. He has been a consultant psychiatrist for 19 years and is the clinical lead for CPFT’s Clozapine Clinics, with one of the largest caseloads. Over an extensive research career, he has become a world-renowned expert on schizophrenia with over 120 publications, and is the regional lead for mental health research at the NIHR Clinical Research Network East of England.
Emilio said: “Around 50– 60% of people with schizophrenia are affected by negative symptoms but these are often overshadowed by positive symptoms like visions and hallucinations and remain poorly understood. The majority of people experiencing negative symptoms are not in mental health services.
I wanted to raise concern and make health professionals aware that we need to evaluate these symptoms and find ways to help.
“In the last decade, there has been a resurgence of interest in these symptoms with more research, new conceptual ideas and measurement tools and this has been a major focus for our research with clinical care in CPFT’s Clozapine Clinics. So, it’s a good time to bring together perspectives on these issues, to facilitate progress in the treatment and better understanding of these problems.
“I want to thank colleagues and collaborators around the world for their contributions to this issue, which would not have been possible without their efforts and invaluable research, and the team at the British Journal of Psychiatry for this opportunity. There were so many fantastic submissions it was very difficult to decide on the final collection, but we have tried to represent all areas of investigation and progress across the globe!”
The themed issue is free to access for three months and features an editorial with Emilio welcoming a new era for negative symptoms, some of the latest CPFT research and global studies investigating negative symptoms of schizophrenia, including artwork from the creative Sound and Vision project with CPFT exploring lived experience of hallucinations.
In this special edition, CPFT colleagues and other local experts have shared the findings from a study with Emilio on the effects of clozapine on motivation in schizophrenia. Honorary consultant psychiatrists Professor Peter Jones and Dr Rudolf Cardinal, CPFT’s Pharmacist Team Manager Chris Jenkins and Academic Clinical Fellow in Psychiatry Dr Noham Wolpe worked with Emilio to show why the side effects of antipsychotics need to be addressed to improve clinical outcomes.
Emilio also chaired a symposium at the recent Royal College of Psychiatrists International Congress introducing the themed issue and mission behind it.
- Access The British Journal of Psychiatry Themed Issue: Negative Symptoms of Schizophrenia for free online.
- Find out more about CPFT’s Clozapine Clinic service.
- Learn more about schizophrenia in Emilio’s CPFT Research Talks featured below: