Overview of schizophrenia research and treatment in Pakistan

Rukhsana Nawaz, Saima Gul, Rafat Amin, Tanzeel Huma, Fadwa Al Mughairbi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Mental health is the most neglected health sector in Pakistan, and the majority of citizens have limited or no access to primary and secondary psychiatric services. The incidence of schizophrenia (SCZ) has increased at an alarming rate in Pakistan, relative to that of other psychiatric disorders. While numerous studies have investigated SCZ, few have addressed the issue about the Pakistani population. In the present review, the researchers discuss current data integral to the prevalence, pathophysiology, and molecular genetics of SCZ; treatment approaches to the disease; and patient responses to drugs prescribed for SCZ in Pakistan. Most Pakistani patients exhibit poor responses to antipsychotic drugs. Based on our review, the researchers hypothesize that genetic dissimilarities between Pakistani and Western populations contribute to such poor responses. Consequently, an understanding of such genetic differences and the provision of personalized treatment may simultaneously aid in improving SCZ treatment in Pakistan.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere05545
JournalHeliyon
Volume6
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

Keywords

  • Drug treatment
  • Mental illness
  • Molecular genetics
  • Pakistan
  • Psychiatry
  • Psychology
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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