THERE are approximately 400.000 people in Spain who suffer from intellectual disabilities.
Spain has initiated research on a drug for people with intellectual disabilities and psychosis.
The research is taking place in the Mental Health Unit of the Virgen del Rocío University Hospital in Seville who has started a clinical trial to investigate the effectiveness of the use of clozapine in people with intellectual disabilities who also suffer from psychosis. To this end, it has received funding for a total of 537,290 euros from the Carlos III Health Institute.
Dr. Clara Rosso of the Clinical Research and Clinical Trials Unit at the Virgen del Rocío University Hospital is responsible for ensuring the quality and safety of the clinical trial. The main researcher on this project is Professor Benedicto Crespo-Facorro, director of the Mental Health Unit at the Seville hospital.
The aim of the research is to investigate the efficacy of clozapine compared to usual clinical practice in the treatment of treatment-resistant psychosis in adolescents and young adults with intellectual disabilities. Professor Benedicto Crespo-Facorro believes that treatment with clozapine will benefit a large number of people with intellectual disabilities who suffer from psychosis, and, according to the professor, in many cases show resistance to the usual antipsychotic treatments.
A statement indicates that people with intellectual disabilities are a highly vulnerable group and in Spain it is estimated that there are approximately 400,000 people with intellectual disabilities. It is remarkable that almost half of these people present some kind of mental illness, including psychosis (3-5 times more frequent than in the general population) which, in addition, has a high complexity in its diagnosis and treatment. However, the development of services and research in this area “is very scarce”.
This is a multicentre trial involving a total of five centres. Specifically, in addition to the Virgen del Rocío University Hospital, the Reina Sofia University Hospital of Córdoba, the San Ceciliode Granada University Hospital, the Regional University Hospital of Málaga and the Jerez Hospital are collaborating.
“This is a relevant issue for people with intellectual disabilities and on which unfortunately the necessary research is not carried out”, concludes Crespo-Facorro.