Researchers led by Dr Graham Blackman and Professor Philip McGuire at the University of Oxford reviewed the results of over 1,600 patients with a first episode of psychosis who had undergone an MRI brain scan.
They found that around six per cent of patients had a scan abnormality which led to a different diagnosis or a change to their clinical care.
Dr Blackman, an NIHR (National Institute for Health and Care Research) Clinical Lecturer at the University, says:
“Patients presenting with psychosis may have another physical illness or condition causing their symptoms that can be identified using MRI scanning. A failure to detect these causes at an early stage can have serious consequences, such as a delay in providing the appropriate treatment.
"Our findings suggest that MRI scans should be considered as part of the initial assessment of all people with first-episode psychosis to ensure that they get the right diagnosis and the right treatment.”