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MRI scans shown to be effective in patients with first episode psychosis

A new study has provided evidence MRI scans can be an effective part of diagnosing First Episode Psychosis (FEP) in patients.
MRI scan

A new study has provided evidence MRI scans can be an effective part of diagnosing first episode psychosis (FEP).

The British Journal of Psychiatry reports how researchers from Kings College London analysed data from 349 people with FEP and 134 healthy volunteers.

The majority were found to tolerate the scanning process well, with only six patients in total halting the process before it was completed.

Good practice

The team, along with colleagues at Phillips-University Marburg, Germany, explained in the report how although it was considered good practice to include neuroimaging in initial clinical assessments this is not routinely carried out.

Performing such assessments would help to rule out organic causes of psychosis, such as tumours or cysts.

Royal College of

A new study has provided evidence MRI scans can be an effective part of diagnosing first episode psychosis (FEP).


 The British Journal of Psychiatry study considered it ‘good practice’ to include MRI scans
in initial clinical assessments. Picture: iStock

The British Journal of Psychiatry reports how researchers from King’s College London analysed data from 349 people with FEP and 134 healthy volunteers.

The majority were found to tolerate the scanning process well, with only six patients in total halting the process before it was completed.

‘Good practice’

The team, along with colleagues at Phillips-University Marburg, Germany, explained in the report how although it was considered ‘good practice’ to include neuroimaging in initial clinical assessments ‘this is not routinely carried out’.

Performing such assessments would help to rule out ‘organic’ causes of psychosis, such as tumours or cysts.

Royal College of Psychiatrists consultant Mark Salter said: ‘This study confirms that with the right treatment and process, patients with first episode psychosis can be assessed using an MRI scan.

‘Disproportionate impact’

‘Failing to detect a psychosis with an ‘organic’ aetiology such as a brain tumour, can have a disproportionate impact on the patient, as the consequences can be severe.

‘Early early detection could lead to a lifesaving treatment,’ Mr Salter added.

Further information

Clinical utility of magnetic resonance imaging in first-episode psychosis


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