The National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) has granted $7.3m to researchers at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research to support their efforts to provide improved treatment for schizophrenia.

The schizophrenia clinical research study is led by Dr John Kane and Dr Delbert Robinson under the name ‘Early-phase Schizophrenia: Practice-based Research to Improve Treatment Outcomes (ESPRITO).’

Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness and brain disabling chronic disorder that impacts a persons ability to control their emotions.

It is also defined by disorganised thinking and abnormal social behaviour, as well as disturbances in perceptions.

Feinstein Institutes Institute of Behavioral Science professor and schizophrenia researcher Dr John Kane said: “We are excited to build off of our previous work to develop improved and more uniform services for early intervention in schizophrenia.

Feinstein Institutes associate professor Dr Robinson said: “With this new clinical research, we aim to improve treatment strategies and medication adherence and help patients continue to receive the care they need to get back to their everyday lives.”

With the help of ESPRITO programme, 11 clinics across four states will provide the NAVIGATE model of coordinated speciality care. The application of standard measurement and data gathering will help in providing enhanced treatment quality, consistency, and response.

The NIMH-funded clinical research will enable researchers to address hurdles in early-phase intervention and reduce hospitalisations, preventing patients from discontinuing the clinical study phase and improving overall outcomes.

Feinstein Institutes president and CEO Kevin Tracey said: “NIH support of early-phase schizophrenia research is in the national interest.

“Doctors Kane and Robinson’s research offers hope for patients to achieve a better quality of life.”