June 07, 2006

New Blog - Brain imaging research on inter-personal stress

We have a new blogger that has just started - but instead of it being a family member of person who has schizophrenia - its a schizophrenia researcher (technically a "research assistant") who is working in England (the University of Manchester clinical psychology department to be precise). Angela Rylands is doing brain imaging research on interpersonal stress and how it relates to schizophrenia. This is a very interesting and active area of research these days. Increasingly research seems to suggest that social stress may play a significant roll for some portion of people who have schizophrenia - either as a contributing factor in the development of schizophrenia or in the ongoing symptoms of schizophrenia. Early research seems to suggest that lowering social stress in children predisposed to schizophrenia may reduce the risk of some people ultimately getting schizophrenia, and that for those people who already have schizophrenia a social stress reduction (or maintainance of low levels of social stress) may reduce the risk of relapse, or improve the outcome. More research needs to be done in this area - and a number of different research groups seem to be getting involved in this area so we hope to see additional progress in the research.

In her initial letter to us Angela conveyed this to us about her research:

I meet people who have had or who are experiencing psychosis on a daily basis. I run assessments on self-esteem, depression and hopelessness and a PANSS interview. I also ask them about their experiences and whether they are positive or negative.

The main study I am working on is testing the effect of a relative’s high expressed emotion, or in other words, overinvolvement in someone who has had a psychosis. This research involves the psychosis sufferer to undergo a brain scan whilst listening to clips of an interview with their relative making different emotive commentary about the person.

This has yielded very interesting results so far. I would like to have the opportunity to report the process on a blog, and utilise the blog as a way of getting feedback and raising awareness about the types of research that is going on at the university.

We hope to get more schizophrenia researchers writing blogs about their research - with over 400,000 visitors each month its a great way for researchers to educate the public about their efforts, and its a great way for us to learn more about their research and help them improve their research that will ultimately help us - the family members and people who have schizophrenia.

So - we encourage you to read this new blog - and add your comments to their blog entries to help them or comment on their thoughts and efforts.

Click on the following link to go to the new blog:

Brain imaging research of interpersonal stress by Angela Rylands.

For additional information on stress as it relates to schizophrenia, see our section on environmental factors linked to schizophrenia.


Post a comment

Please enter this code to enable your comment -
Remember Me?
(you may use HTML tags for style)
* indicates required