February 27, 2004

Appproximately Half of Homeless are Mentally Ill

Nearly half of state's homeless are mentally ill, survey finds (Associated Press) The number of people who are homeless in Minnesota and who suffer from mental illness has more than doubled since 1994, according to a report released today. The mentally ill now make up about 47 percent of the state's homeless adults, according to the Wilder Research Center survey." The survey found that the homeless are increasingly vulnerable and harder to serve, requiring not just more affordable housing but intensive help staying housed. ... In 2003, homeless adults diagnosed with a mental illness totaled 47 percent, up sharply from Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 10:25 PM | Comments (6)

Memory and Cognitive Function

Read more... Schizophrenia Biology
Since memory and cognitive problems are a common problem with schizophrenia - I thought the following news would be of interest. Some Notes from the Wall Street Journal: Our ability to remember peaks "at age 25 and it's all down hill from there," according to CBS News. "Between [ages] 25 and 75, fully two-thirds of the ability to remember names has been lost," one expert on the subject said in the article. Diseases and bad habits can worsen that decline, of course. Citing a study that appears in the British Medical Journal, NBCSandiego.com noted that older "women who suffer from Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 04:46 PM | Comments (0)

Insurance Parity and Family Education

Crusade for [health insurance coverage for] mentally ill faces tough opposition (Central Ohio Newspaper) "if your brain produces too much of a chemical called dopamine, you get Parkinson's disease, a [disease that is considered a] physical illness. "If you suffer from Parkinson's disease, you are entitled to all of the [insurance] benefits contained in that policy -- millions of dollars in coverage, no limit to the visits to the physician," Olman said. But if your body creates too little dopamine, it results in schizophrenia. "Schizophrenia is considered a mental illness, and because of that, you are going to find you Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 07:32 AM | Comments (0)

February 26, 2004

Early Diagnosis & Treatment is Important in Schizophrenia

Earlier diagnosis of schizophrenia improves results of treatment It was reported by Yale University today that there is more evidence that "Detecting and treating schizophrenia rapidly, following the onset of a first psychotic episode, improves the patients' response to treatment, according to a study by a Yale researcher. Thomas McGlashan, M.D., professor of psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, said the length of time between the onset of psychosis and detection and treatment can stretch from several weeks to several years. This time span is a concern because the patient is sick and untreated and because there is some indication Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 05:07 PM | Comments (47)

Caution urged in use of anti-psychotic drugs

Caution urged in use of anti-psychotic drugs (The Associated Press) The one thing that struck me about this article is the recommendation that a patient taking a given antipsychotic should be considered for a switchover to a new medication if that person's weight increases by 5 or more percent. My weight increased by approximately 25% while on Clozaril, Seroquel and Zyprexa. I eventually switched to Geodon and lost all of that weight. I'm now on Abilify and so far have experienced little in the way of weight gain. What's interesting to me is that I made the switch to Geodon Read More...
Posted by at 03:46 AM | Comments (0)

February 25, 2004

Gene variation

Gene variation increases risk of Schizophrenia (psychiatrymattters.md) - it was reported today that "Researchers have found evidence to suggest that the 3' genomic region of the D2 dopamine receptor (DRD2) gene may convey an increased risk of developing schizophrenia. While the DRD2 gene has been considered a relevant candidate gene in schizophrenia development, results still remain unclear due to differences in findings between linkage analyses and association studies, observe Caroline Dubertret (H��pital Louis Mourier, Colombes, France) and colleagues." Source: Schizophrenia Research, 2004; 67: 75-85 Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 08:28 PM | Comments (1)

Students with Mental Illness Targeted for Early Treatment

Mental health: Students targeted for early treatment - Straits Times, Singapore This is a good story from Singapore about how they are targeting students for early treatment of mental illness - which is an extremely well-informed decision; the earlier that schizophrenia is treated (research suggests) the better the outcome for the person and the lower the costs for society. One of those rare "Win/Win" scenarios. The story states that "CAMPUS counsellors are quietly seeking out students who imagine they are hearing voices, to assess whether they are becoming psychotic or have other mental health problems. Since the year began, counsellors Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 07:09 PM | Comments (1)

Agency to use technology in effort to help mentally ill

Agency to use technology in effort to help mentally ill (Chicago Sun-Times) A Chicago-based mental health agency wants to break new ground by using computer technology to help the mentally ill lead richer lives. Trilogy, a 30-year fixture in Rogers Park and Evanston, will use innovative software to try to help people with severe mental illnesses with memory, concentration and social skill problems that can result from their illnesses. Severe mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and severe depression, can be treated, and the computer can be an important tool in rehabilitation, said David Daskovsky, Trilogy's clinical director. Trilogy Read More...
Posted by at 06:26 PM | Comments (1)

February 24, 2004

Mental illness no life sentence

Read more... Schizophrenia Coping
Mental illness no life sentence - (Tri-Valley Herald, California) "Despite the stigma and public neglect, a diagnosis of mental illness is not a life sentence of doom and decay, a prominent mental health researcher said Saturday. The facts are that a large percentage of people with mental illness can recover, ignore the unjust, prejudiced stigma of mental illness and lead normal lives, said Dr. Courtenay Harding, a psychiatrist who is director of the Institute for the Study of Resilience at Boston University. Harding is a pioneer in what is becoming known as the "recovery movement," which creates support groups for Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 06:44 AM | Comments (3)

The Crisis Cops

The Crisis Cops - When They Closed Norwich Hospital, New London Police Faced A Whole New Challenge. So They Learned How Not To Shoot. (Hartford Courant)This is a great article about a woman (Louise Pyers) who has started an organization focused on working with Police to help them understand the mentally ill - and to get them to be better able to deal with the mentally ill when they are behaving differently. When you read this - I hope you'll join in the effort to educate your local police force to address this great need for education. "She formed an Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 06:02 AM | Comments (1)

February 23, 2004

Environmental Factors in Schizophrenia

Pathways to schizophrenia: the impact of environmental factors - Recent research further supports many environmental factors in schizophrenia that have been reported on in the past: "Schizophrenic individuals inherit genes that cause structural brain deviations which may be compounded by early environmental insults. As a result some pre-schizophrenic children exhibit subtle developmental delays, cognitive problems, or poor interpersonal relationships. " These children are susceptible to dysregulation of dopamine, which can lead to the onset of a psychotic illness. Dopamine dysregulation may arise through a process of sensitization. In animal research this can be caused by repeated administration of dopamine-releasing drugs. Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 07:59 PM | Comments (0)

Newer Drugs Fail to Fully Help people with schizophrenia

In what is probably not entirely new news to anyone, this story highlights the significant opportunity for improvement in treatments for people with schizophrenia. New drugs fail to fully aid schizophrenics - A story in today's Washington Post (also carried in the San Francisco Chronicle) suggested that two atypical antipsychotic medicines recently evaluated are ineffective in reversing the lack of social skills that is one of the less obvious features of schizophrenia, according to a new study. The newspaper story stated: "Although the drugs were effective in combating other symptoms of schizophrenia, which is characterized by disorganized thought and psychotic Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 06:49 PM | Comments (1)

Cortex Ampakine Compound Fails Test

Cortex's Ampakine CX516 Fizzles, But More Potent Ones In Pipeline - Over the past few years Cortex has gotten a great deal of press coverage for a series of new drugs that show potential in helping people with the memory/cognitive problems that are common with schizophrenia. Recently the company announced that the most recent trials of one of the compounds had failed but that other compounds were still showing potential. We wish them luck: "Cortex Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s CX516 for mild cognitive impairment failed to meet its primary endpoint in a Phase IIb trial, although a subset of patients with the Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 03:43 AM | Comments (0)

February 21, 2004

Schizophrenia Drug for Stuttering?

This news story about recent research on how a schizophrenia drug (Olanzapine) may help people who stutter is interesting to me because a friend's brother who stuttered a lot as a child also developed schizophrenia later in life. It makes me wonder about the connection between stuttering and schizophrenia - and if stuttering might in fact be an early sign (of increased risk of schizophrenia). Drug for schizophrenia may help stutterers - For many sufferers it's a frustrating affliction, but soon people who stutter may be able to take a pill to ease their speech impediment. The drug olanzapine is Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 09:30 PM | Comments (2)

New Drugs for Schizophrenia

Saegis Pharmaceuticals Receives $2 Million Investment from the Stanley Medical Research Institute - Saegis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on developing medicines that protect and enhance the function of the human mind, today announced that The Stanley Medical Research Institute will invest $2 million in the company, in exchange for Series B Preferred Stock, to help fund the initiation of human clinical trials of SGS518, a novel small molecule that has exhibited safety and activity in improving learning and memory in extensive pre-clinical research. Saegis will study the compound as a treatment for the cognitive decline that Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 07:43 AM | Comments (3)

February 20, 2004

Stem Cells Repair Brain

Read more... Schizophrenia Biology
Researchers Find a Type of Stem Cell May Have the Ability to Repair the Brain - New York Times. " A type of self-renewing cell found in the adult human brain may have the potential to repair brain damage or disease, scientists reported yesterday. The cells, neural stem cells, have been known about for some time. But their function has been a mystery. Researchers theorized that the cells, as in rats and monkeys, generated new neurons...." This seems like an important area to research for treatments and cures for schizophrenia. A related News Story: Stem Cell Source Found in Human Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 09:38 PM | Comments (11)

Zyprexa Warning in Older Adults

Lilly Issues Warning on Zyprexa in Use in Elderly with Dementia - The Wall Street Journal reported this morning that: "Zyprexa, a blockbuster antipsychotic medicine often used to calm elderly people with dementia, can increase the risk of strokes and death in those patients, according to a letter sent to physicians by Eli Lilly & Co. This warning echo's an announcement by Johnson & Johnson's on its own schizophrenia drug, Risperdal, back in April' 2003. The Lilly letter said there was a "significantly higher" incidence of stroke among these patients, but didn't quantify it any further. The letter also said Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 06:16 PM | Comments (0)

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 Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 01:07 AM | Comments (3)

February 13, 2004

Brain Injury Caused by Alcohol, Anesthesia, and Lead

Studies suggest brain injury results from developmental exposure to alcohol, anesthesia, and lead SEATTLE, WA--Neuroapoptosis--the death of brain cells--may help explain a wide range of developmental disturbances, including fetal alcohol syndrome and schizophrenia, according to researchers who presented a symposium today at the 2004 AAAS (Triple-A-S) Annual Meeting. AAAS is the American Association for the Advancement of Science. At the AAAS event, Columbia University psychiatrist Ezra Susser and his colleagues discussed new findings suggesting a link between exposure to lead in utero and a diagnosis of schizophrenia in young adults. "The results of our study suggest that lead-induced prenatal damage Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 06:20 PM | Comments (1)

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