The introduction of neuroleptics into the treatment of schizophrenia half a century ago generated great optimism about improving the lives of individuals afflicted with this debilitating illness; despite some benefits, however, functional outcomes improved only minimally (1). A similar surge of enthusiasm greeted the introduction of the second-generation "atypical" antipsychotic medications with their broader spectrum of efficacy and fewer motor side effects; however, functional outcomes in schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders still remain poor. This has reinforced the belief of many in the field that much of the damage is already done by the time we first begin to treat schizophrenia and that the possibilities for improvement at this stage are quite limited irrespective of what treatments we apply, which, in turn, has led to renewed interest in trying to intervene before the onset of psychotic symptoms and marked decline in function. This volume, comprising 12 chapters, addresses several facets of this topic. Based on a meeting organized in Prague in late 1998, these 12 contributions from prominent research groups systematically dissect issues relevant to early intervention in schizophrenia while reviewing premier treatment programs around the world focusing on this topic.