The New York Times reports that an ambitious new seven year study, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, which is soon to be published in The American Journal of Psychiatry has found that talk therapies combined with low doses of medication can significantly improved the quality of life for those diagnosed with schizophrenia and their families, especially if treatment begins early.

More than two million people in the United States have a diagnosis of schizophrenia, and the treatment for most of them mainly involves strong doses of antipsychotic drugs that blunt hallucinations and delusions but can come with unbearable side effects, like severe weight gain or debilitating tremors.

Now, results of a landmark government-funded study call that approach into question. The findings, from by far the most rigorous trial to date conducted in the United States, concluded that schizophrenia patients who received smaller doses of antipsychotic medication and a bigger emphasis on one-on-one talk therapy and family support made greater strides in recovery over the first two years of treatment than patients who got the usual drug-focused care.

Source: Talk Therapy Found to Ease Schizophrenia