Treatment of obesity and disability in schizophrenia

Martin Strassnig, Philip D. Harvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Despite 50 years of pharmacological and psychosocial interventions, schizophrenia remains one of the leading causes of disability. The inability to function in everyday settings includes deficits in performance of social, occupational, and independent living activities. Schizophrenia is also a life-shortening illness, caused mainly by poor physical health and its complications. Dysfunctional lifestyles including sedentary behavior and lack of physical activity prevail, while treatment with adipogenic psychotropic medication interacts with poor performance in screening, monitoring, and intervention that result in shortening of life expectancies by 25 to 30 years. Disability interferes with self-care and medical care, further worsening physical health to produce a vicious cycle of disability. Further, the neurobiological impact of obesity on brain functioning is substantial and relevant to schizophrenia. Simultaneous treatment of cognitive deficits and related deficits in functional skills, ubiquitous determinants of everyday functioning in schizophrenia, and targeted interventions aimed at poor physical health, especially obesity and associated comorbidities, may lead to additive or even interactive gains in everyday functioning in patients with schizophrenia not previously realized with other interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-19
Number of pages5
JournalInnovations in Clinical Neuroscience
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - Aug 2013


  • Cognition
  • Functional capacity
  • Novel treatments
  • Obesity
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Neurology


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