The Nature of the Problems and the Need for Evolution and Synthesis in Our Approaches
What is schizophrenia? What are its causes? Can it be cured? Can it be prevented? These fundamental issues have confronted the field of schizophrenia research and treatment for over 100 years. Our ability to improve the lives of people with the disorder, however, has not improved at nearly the same rate as the accumulation of new knowledge about it and technological advances to study it. Paradigm shifts may thus be needed to accelerate progress. This was the aim of the Ernst Strü;ngmann Forum, “Schizophrenia: Evolution and Synthesis,” to which a group of leading researchers were invited to explore novel ways of conceptualizing the disorder, integrating data across levels of analysis, and accelerating advances in treatment development and prevention efforts. In this introductory chapter, we introduce the questions and issues that motivated the Forum, in terms of fundamental problems facing the field of schizophrenia research and treatment, and discuss the specific issues identified for debate and the questions which served as starting points for deliberation. We briefly summarize the debate and conclusions of each of the four thematic groups and highlight issues that emerged during the final plenary discussion. Published in the Strungmann Forum Reports Series.
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