Identifying and Treating the Prodromal Phases of Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia

Susan K. Conroy, Michael M. Francis, Leslie A. Hulvershorn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

2 Scopus citations


Purpose of review: The goal of this paper is to review recent research on the identification and treatment of prodromal periods that precede bipolar and psychotic disorders. We also sought to provide information about current best clinical practices for prodromal youth. Recent findings: Research in the areas of identifying prodromal periods has rapidly advanced. Calculators that can predict risk are now available for use during both bipolar and psychotic disorder prodromes. Cognitive behavior therapies have emerged as the gold standard psychosocial interventions for the psychosis prodrome, while several other types of therapies hold promise for treatment during the bipolar prodrome. Due to safety and efficacy concerns, pharmacologic treatments are not currently recommended during either prodromal periods. Summary: While additional research is needed to develop useful clinical tools to screen and diagnose during prodromal phases, existing literature has identified constellations of symptoms that can be reliably identified in research settings. Specialized psychotherapies are currently recommended to treat prodromal symptoms in clinical settings. They may also be useful to curtail future episodes, although further research is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-128
Number of pages16
JournalCurrent Treatment Options in Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018


  • Bipolar disorder
  • Psychosis prodrome
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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