What's New - August
Individuals with Schizophrenia are offen impoverished. The National
Earn money from your Schizophrenia
Institute of Mental Health is currently conducting a study that needs
individuals with schizophrenia and their brothers and sisters. Each
individual will be paid $300 for participating. Now you and your
brother/sister w/schiz can earn $300 each AND support the search for a cure
for schizophrenia. For more info call the:
SIBLING PROJECT COORDINATOR
ST. Elizabeths Hospital
Washington, DC 20032
(202) 373-6100 or Toll Free: 1-888-NRH-NIMH
It is my understanding they wil arrange/pay for transit to DC for the two
days of non-invasive testing.
Schizophrenia in the Jewish Community
Ashkenazi Jewish families w/a relative with schizophrenia can help scientists
find cause of
schizophrenia and help develop new treatments. For info call, Dr. Ann E.
Pulver at the
Joohns Hopkins Univ School of Medicine Toll Free at 1 888-289-4095
Depression/BORNA VIRUS NEWS
NEW YORK (Jul 22, 1996 09:35 a.m. EDT) -- A virus that makes horses and
cats act depressed has been found in people for the first time, boosting
the evidence that it may play a role in human depressive disorders,
It was recovered from two patients with manic depression and another with
chronic obsessive-compulsive disorder in Germany, plus a patient in the
United States who had major depression and chronic fatigue syndrome,
German scientists report.
The so-called Borna disease virus may trigger depressive episodes in
people who are already vulnerable to major depression or manic-depression,
said researcher Liv Bode of the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin.
Scientists hope to find drugs to attack the virus, she said.
She and scientists at the Free University of Berlin report their results
in the July issue of the journal Molecular Psychiatry. While one of the
patients had obsessive-compulsive disorder rather than depression, the
disorder can be associated with depression and it responds to
antidepressants, Bode noted.
It's too soon to tell whether the virus plays any role in chronic fatigue
syndrome, she said.
The research is a significant step toward finding out if Borna virus can
promote human mood disorders, says a commentary in the journal by Ljubisa
Vitkovic, chief of the neuroimmunology and neurovirology program at the
National Institute of Mental Health.
But a scientist who studies Borna virus, Joanna Pyper of the Johns Hopkins
University School of Medicine, said in an interview that she suspects the
recovered virus could actually be an animal strain used in the laboratory.
It could have appeared to come from people because of accidental
contamination, which can easily happen, she said.
Pyper also said that overall, the evidence that Borna virus plays a role
in human disease is not yet convincing.
Bode said her team took multiple steps to rule out any possibility of
contamination and noted that the recovered virus strains differed
genetically from animal virus, as well as from each other.
"I'm convinced we have really the human virus in our hands," Bode
Bode also said she considers it likely that the virus contributes to human
Borna virus infects sheep, cattle, and ostriches as well as horses and
cats. Animal infections have been seen in central Europe, Sweden and
Israel, and "we assume that the Borna virus infections are widely
distributed all over the world," Bode said.
People cannot get Borna virus from eating meat or other products of
infected animals, Bode said.
Not all infected animals show symptoms. But horses can go through episodes
of apathy, energy loss and sleepiness before reaching a complete
remission, she said. Traces of Borna virus are found in a part of the
horse brain that controls emotion, suggesting the behavior comes from
interference there rather than a general reaction to feeling ill, she
Infected cats can stagger and also act depressed and apathetic, Bode said.
Cats can also recover on their own. No antiviral treatment has been
Prior evidence of human infection has included detection of immune system
proteins that appear to signal exposure to the virus, and the finding of
proteins and genetic material that appear to be from Borna virus.
Bode and colleagues have found that the viral proteins and genetic
material tend to appear during or near episodes of depression, suggesting
that the virus can promote depression when it is activated from a dormant
But scientists suspect infection causes no problem in most people, she
said. Instead, it may bring on depressive episodes in people predisposed
by their genes or other factors, maybe by disrupting communication between
brain cells, she said.
It's too soon to say how big a factor Borna virus might be in depression
or manic-depression, she said. And it's not clear whether Borna virus can
jump from animals to people, nor how it might spread between people, Bode
No virus could be recovered from other psychiatric patients or four
California InterNetwork of Mental Health Clients
Mailing List/Email Discussion Group
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portion of the CNMHC (California Network of Mental Health
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implementations, issues with local Mental Health Boards,
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There's a group called BPD.
To Subscribe to this email discussion list just send an email to:
With the following message in the body of the email:
subscribe BorderPD 'yourname'
as usual, don't put anything else in the body of the message. They are very
supportive on that list.