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Counteracting psychosis by optimizing interaction

Final Report Summary - INTERACT (Counteracting psychosis by optimizing interaction)

The INTERACT project elucidated the role of stress and reward mechanisms, both at the neurochemical and the behavioral level, in the development of psychosis. We found stress to be a central component in the development of psychosis, and particularly the delayed recovery from stress. Furthermore, we found stress to reduce reward-oriented behavior, both mechanisms being associated with altered dopamine reactivity in the brain.
In a second step, we developed a real-time and real-world intervention that targeted these mechanisms of stress and reward. The Acceptance-and-Commitment therapy in daily life is a blended intervention that combines face-to-face therapy with a therapist with an app that people use in their normal daily life. A clinical trial in 148 patients in the early stages of psychosis demonstrated feasibility and acceptability. The short- and long-term effectivity of the intervention is still under investigation as is the neural effect of this intervention on stress and reward-related mechanisms. The final data are currently being collected, so the outcome is being expected in the coming months.