Clinical Care Overview

Clinical Director: Russell L. Margolis, M.D.

The clinical mission of the Johns Hopkins Schizophrenia Center is to provide state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment for individuals with schizophrenia and related disorders, including schizophreniform disorder, schizoaffective disorder, delusional disorder, and Psychosis NOS. We provide consultations, second opinions and options for on-going treatment both inpatient and outpatient at two locations - The Johns Hopkins Hospital and The Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. The outpatient clinics are organized by age group - adult services as well as those for children, adolescents and young adults.

We recognize the central role of families in the process of diagnosis and treatment and the right of every patient to receive the finest quality medical care in an atmosphere of honesty and respect.

Consultative, Second Opinion, and Evaluation Services

Treatment Settings and Services

Inpatient Care

Acute Inpatient Treatment - Johns Hopkins Hospital

Our clinical program operates a ten-bed inpatient unit at the Johns Hopkins Hospital for patients who are acutely ill and need 24-hour supervised care for their safety and to initiate treatment. A full range of evaluative and treatment services are available as necessary for comprehensive individualized care.

Inpatient Admissions

Outpatient Clinics

Early Psychosis Intervention Clinic (EPIC) and Consultations - Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

EPIC provides ongoing treatment at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center for adolescents and young adults with recent onset of schizophrenia or a related psychotic disorder, or who are at risk for developing one of these disorders. Treatment includes weekly therapy, medicine management, and coordination with schools, pediatricians, neuropscyhologists, and rehabilitation programs. The clinic also offers consultations and second opinions. Learn More

Adult Schizophrenia Clinic - Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

The Adult Schizophrenia Clinic provides on-going care for adults with schizophrenia who are also interested in occasionally participating in research studies. The clinic is located at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. Treatment includes detailed assessments of symptoms and social concerns, psychotherapy, and medicine management. Our goal is to help individuals with schizophrenia maximize their function while developing and pursuing life goals. Learn more

Clozapine Clinic - Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

Clozapine is the treatment of choice for patients with schizophrenia whose symptoms have not responded to other antipsychotic treatments. We are a specialized outpatient treatment program that provides comprehensive mental health services for adults that are currently being prescribed Clozapine or would like to be started on Clozapine. We are experienced in all aspects of Clozapine treatment, including initiating Clozapine in the outpatient setting. Learn more

To make an outpatient appointment or to get more information call 410-955-5212


About Schizophrenia

What is schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a mental illness affecting 1% of the population. Symptoms most frequently begin in the teenage years or the 20’s. The most common features are hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thinking and behavior, loss of interest in social activities, lack of energy and drive, and problems of attention, memory, and decision making. Some of these symptoms may be quite distressing or even frightening to the individual with schizophrenia. Individuals with schizophrenia tend to have difficulties at work or school, in relationships with family and friends, and sometimes in basic self-care. Schizophrenia is frequently associated with substance abuse, and, at times, unpredictable or aggressive behavior. Some people with schizophrenia do not believe they are ill.

Helpful LInks
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
National Institute of Mental Health

What causes schizophrenia?

It is now clear that schizophrenia is a disease of the brain. It is possible that the brain abnormality is from the abnormal growth or developmental of brain cells, or from a problem in the chemistry of the brain cells. Why these brain abnormalities occur is not fully known, though genes inherited from one or both parents are probably important. It is suspected that factors other than genes may also be involved, such as exposure at a young ages to certain infections or other stressors, but much remains unknown.

How is the diagnosis of schizophrenia made?

There is no test for schizophrenia. The diagnosis is based on an interview of the patient by an experienced clinician and a detailed history of symptoms provided by both the patient and by individuals who know the patient well. Blood tests, brain scans, and EEG (brain wave tests) will often be obtained to search for the presence of other diseases that may cause symptoms similar to the symptoms of schizophrenia.

What is the treatment for schizophrenia?

A number of approaches to treatment are typically necessary; the focus of treatment will be different for each patient. Most patients will benefit by treatment with medicines. The most commonly used type of medicines are known as antipsychotics, sometimes called neuroleptics. These are divided into two groups, typical and atypical antipsychotics. The two classes have somewhat different chemical properties, and have different advantages and disadvantages. A variety of other medicines may also be helpful for individual patients.

Are there treatments other than medicine?

Treatment in addition to medicine is often essential. Many patients benefit from individual, family, or group psychotherapy (counseling). These sessions typically emphasize the emotional and practical consequences of the illness, and how the individual or family can work to gain control over the illness. Discussion may focus on the nature and symptoms of the disease itself, the recognition of early signs of a relapse, the importance of medicine and the recognition of medicine side-effects, coping with symptoms when they do occur, relationships with family or co-workers, finding and keeping a job, or staying school. Many patients also benefit from programs that emphasize rehabilitation and practical skills. The emphasis is again different for each individual, but may range from self-care to finding and keeping a job.