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Daniela Parra Dunoyer, Óscar Julián Vargas Muñoz and Luis Miguel Vélez Vélez, residents of the Psychiatry program of the CES University School of Medicine, won the Founders award, by occupying first place in the LIX National Congress of Psychiatry in the category of best research project.

Residents received this recognition for their work on the Progression of the First Psychotic Episode in Eastern Antioquia, that was presented among the research protocols that were sent to the event, held between October 10 and 25, 2020 in a virtual way.

The researchers explained that psychotic disorders are characterized by the presence of one or more of the following symptoms: delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thinking, disorganized behavior, and negative symptoms. The first psychotic episode is the first time in a person's life that one or more of these symptoms appear.

This episode can be clinical evidence of multiple psychiatric illnesses, mainly schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder, schizoaffective disorder, among others. The residents estimated that there could be a greater tendency to develop bipolar affective disorder (a disease that causes abrupt changes in mood) if the patient is from the eastern Antioquia area.

In eastern Antioquia, prevalence rates of bipolar affective disorder have been found twice as high compared to world data, due to geographical and historical situations of isolation and inbreeding. However, there are no local studies on the progression of the First Psychotic Episode. This is one of the main motivations to carry out this project”, Explained Dr. Daniela Parra Dunoyer.

The doctor added that, with the results of the study, it is sought to find and tend sociodemographic and clinical characteristics that could influence the development of this disease. All this through the collection and analysis of medical records of patients who had a first psychotic episode between 2015 and 2017.

The results of this research could help to predict possible risk factors that cause the first psychotic episodes to develop into bipolar affective disorder. The identification of these factors is a fundamental input in the design of public policies in mental health ", stated Dr. Óscar Julián Vargas Muñoz.

A research protocol is the document prior to the research project that is presented to an advisor or committee for approval and implementation. The residents had the advice of Dr. Diego Fernando Rojas Gualdrón and expect to obtain results within two years.

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