From the Editor

FAST and RAPID: Acronyms to prevent brain damage in stroke and psychosis

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Psychosis should be conceptualized as a “stroke of the mind,” and it can be prevented in most patients with schizophrenia by adopting injectable antipsychotics as early after the onset of psychosis as possible. Yet, starting a LAI antipsychotic drug in first-episode psychosis before hospital discharge is rarely done, and the few patients who currently receive LAIs (10% of U.S. patients) generally receive them after multiple episodes and a protracted DUP. That’s like calling the fire department when much of the house has turned to ashes, instead of calling them when the first small flame is noticed. It makes so much sense, but the decades-old practice of postponing the use of LAIs continues to ruin the lives of young persons in the prime of life. By changing our practice habits to early use of LAIs, we have nothing to lose and our patients with psychosis may be spared a lifetime of suffering, poverty, stigma, incarceration, and functional disability. Wouldn’t we want to avoid that atrocious outcome for our own family members if they develop schizophrenia?

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