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February 20, 2004
Welcome, Volunteer to Help
Welcome to the Schizophrenia News Blog.
We've created this blog to provide news and commentary on what we believe is the important news relating to schizophrenia. We're planning to update this on a very regular basis - so check back often. We're going to have a number of contributors at this blog - so you'll get a number of different viewpoints on what constitutes "good or important news."
We appreciate your feedback on news items you find interesting. Its only with your feedback (see comment area at bottom of the page) that we can improve the site and this blog for everyone. So please, write us with your comments. Please note that all of the entries of this blog (and all blogs at the schizophrenia.com web site) are solely the opinion of the person writing the blog - and do not represent in any way the opinions of the non-profit organization that is schizophrenia.com.
Today I'm pretty busy so this is going to be a short news summary. As we get more volunteer contributors (please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to volunteer to help here).
Recent Schizophrenia News
Wheat Allergy Clue Found in Schizophrenia Cause Hunt - Today researchers announced that Schizophrenia could be linked to an allergy to gluten, a protein found in wheat and other grains. ""A history of coeliac disease is a risk factor for schizophrenia," the researchers wrote in an article for the British Medical Journal."
Prenatal lead exposure linked to schizophrenia - "Exposure to lead while in the womb may double a child's risk of developing schizophrenia later in life, new research suggests. While larger studies are needed to confirm the link, the researchers say this is the first time an environmental toxin has been linked to the disorder."
While this research is the first of its kind, this would seem to be something that every family or person that has any relationship to someone with schizophrenia would want to watch for - and for women to avoid toxins like lead when they are pregnant. In fact there are a number of toxins that seem to have some similar impact. See this following story for more information on the other toxins that have a significant impact on the brain development during a pregnancy: Studies suggest brain injury results from developmental exposure to alcohol, anesthesia, and lead
Scratch-and-sniff smell test could help spot brain disease - "BRAIN diseases such as Alzheimer�s and schizophrenia are difficult to diagnose in their earliest stages. Even now if you had access to the most sophisticated modern brain-scanning techniques, your chances of detecting the diagnosis early are remote. This is a pity because the earlier you can detect illnesses of this type and start treatment, the better the prognosis might be.
But now the latest medical research promises a breakthrough which might mean anyone, not just doctors, could spot the earliest signs of these serious illnesses using something as low-tech as a simple test of your ability to smell." and furthermore that "The very latest medical research has established that a deficiency in the sense of smell is not only seen very early in the course of schizophrenia, it is also strongly associated with the eventual duration of the illness. So using smell as an early test for schizophrenia cannot only predict the onset of the disease but also how severe it�s going to be. It seems the worse your inability to smell the longer you are going to suffer from schizophrenia."
We think that this is going to be a very important new development when these tests are finally made available. Any company working on this would have the chance to be a very large and successful business - with over 25 million people in the world estimated to have schizophrenia (and perhaps double or triple that many that have related illnesses that are difficult to diagnose with a high level of certainty). While they have been talking about this test for years now - I hope they're finally getting closer to reality.