Drugs Before Diagnosis?

Experiments, by definition, are a voyage into the unknown. But Melbourne psychiatrist Patrick McGorry conducted one on young people in the late 1990s that was more daring than most. McGorry was tantalized by the idea that psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia have a pre-onset phase, or prodrome, during which careful intervention could prevent them from emerging—and wrecking the lives of sufferers and their loved ones. The theory wasn't McGorry's alone, but he decided to test it in a world-first trial that had psychiatry's skeptics aghast.

The point of contention was that some 30 subjects in McGorry's trial received...

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