This subproject is one of many research subprojects utilizing the resources provided by a Center grant funded by NIH/NCRR. The subproject and investigator (PI) may have received primary funding from another NIH source, and thus could be represented in other CRISP entries. The institution listed is for the Center, which is not necessarily the institution for the investigator. This study tests the hypothesis that Mifepristone will alleviate psychosis and reduce cognitive disturbances in patients with schizoaffective disorder.
The aim of this project is to expand our scope of study to include a larger group of subjects with severe affective psychoses. Research questions to be clarified by the data: a. Will Mifepristone rapidly improve the psychosis, altered cognition, and mood components of individuals diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder? b. Is the rate and magnitude of symptom improvement significantly correlated to Mifepristone use over that of placebo? c. Do levels of cortisol, advenocarticotropin hormone (ACTH) and/or homovallinic acid (HVA) change (i.e., demonstrate a post-treatment decrease from baseline levels) in subjects with schizoaffective disorder after being treated with Mifepristone? Current biological therapy for schizoaffective disorder (a combination of antidepressant and antipsychotic medication) is often only partially effective and carries a significant risk of permanent side effects. Mifepristone has the potential to rapidly reverse the exacerbations of psychosis and cognitive deficits seen in schizoaffective disorder. Mifepristone may have the significant benefit of eliminating a period of high morbidity and may also allow the patient to avoid the side effects of high-dose antipsychotic medication.
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