August 31, 2004

Safety and Effectiveness of Long-acting Risperdal

Safety and Efficacy of Long-Acting Risperidone in Schizophrenia: A 12-Week, Multicenter, Open-Label Study in Stable Patients Switched From Typical and Atypical Oral Antipsychotics. Lindenmayer JP, Eerdekens E, Berry SA, Eerdekens M. J Clin Psychiatry. 2004 Aug;65(8):1084-1089. Pharmaceutical companies have recently been touting long-acting injectable medications as the answer to maintaining reliable, consistent levels of medication and helping with preventing relapse through medication compliance in those with schizophrenia. Risperidone has been the first such atypical medication available in such a long-acting injectable form. This study aimed to look at the safety and effectiveness of this type of medication in a clinically Read More...
Posted by Megan at 06:57 PM | Comments (0)

Cognitive Improvement via Nasal Spray

Nasal spray to beat memory loss Source: Daily Mail (UK) Doctors have successfully used a nasal spray based on insulin to improve memory for the first time. Men and women who used the spray remembered twice as many test words after two months than those using a dummy spray. They also felt happier, fitter and more self-confident according to the report by Roger Dobson. This treatment may eventually be used by people with schizophrenia to improve the cognitive deficites that are a common symptom of the disease. Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 04:48 PM | Comments (0)

Doctors Recommendations for Monitoring Health

Physical health monitoring of patients with schizophrenia. Marder SR, Essock SM, Miller AL, Buchanan RW, Casey DE, Davis JM, Kane JM, Lieberman JA, Schooler NR, Covell N, Stroup S, Weissman EM, Wirshing DA, Hall CS, Pogach L, Pi-Sunyer X, Bigger JT Jr, Friedman A, Kleinberg D, Yevich SJ, Davis B, Shon S. Am J Psychiatry. 2004 Aug;161(8):1334-49. Individuals with schizophrenia seem to have a 20% shorter life expectancy than the population and have more vulnerability to illnesses such as diabetes, coronary heart disease, hypertension, and emphysema. This could be because of lifestyle choices (eg poor dietary habits, obesity, high rates Read More...
Posted by Megan at 03:29 PM | Comments (0)

Family warmth in schizophrenia

Ethnicity, Expressed Emotion, Attributions, and Course of Schizophrenia: Family Warmth Matters. By Lopez, SR; Nelson Hipke, K; Polo, AJ; Jenkins, JH; Karno, M; Vaughn, C; Snyder, KS. Journal of Abnormal Psychology. 2004 Aug Vol 113(3) 428-439 There is a line of research called family 'expressed emotion' that suggests that family factors can influence the course of schizophrenia. Particularly, it is thought that low levels of criticism, hostility, or emotional overinvolvement are less likely to cause relapse in the person with schizophrenia, and vice versa for high levels of these qualities. Some researchers have proposed an 'attribution theory' which claims that Read More...
Posted by Megan at 02:20 PM | Comments (0)

August 30, 2004

Another Gene Segment Linked with Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder

Read more... Schizophrenia Biology
An altered form (called a polymorphism by geneticists) in the XBP1 gene may indicate a genetic risk for schizophrenia. According to a study from China, "Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are two major psychiatric illnesses that may share specific genetic risk factors to a certain extent. Increasing evidence suggests that the two disorders might be more closely related than previously considered." "In order to test this hypothesis," said W.Y. Chen and coauthors, "we investigated a functional polymorphism -197C/G in XBP1, which was reported to increase the risk of bipolar disorder, in a case-control study (374 cases vs. 371 controls) to evaluate Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 07:58 PM | Comments (0)

August 27, 2004

Measuring Schizotypy Personality through Questionnaires

The Psychometric Detection of Schizotypy: Do Putative Schizotypy Indicators Identify the Same Latent Class? Horan, WP; Blanchard, JJ; Gangestad, SW; Kwapil, TR. Journal of Abnormal Psychology. 2004 Aug Vol 113(3) 339-357 There is a lot of research being done to identify personalities of individuals prone to the development of schizophrenia, so that early intervention is possible. One type of personality that is involved with a risk for schizophrenia is called schizotypy. People with this type of personality have features known as anhedonia (difficulty experiencing pleasure), cognitive slippage, ambivalence (uncertainty) and interpersonal aversiveness (preference to be alone). One theory is that Read More...
Posted by Megan at 03:35 PM | Comments (0)

Underestimations of MI in College

The incidence of, and lack of awareness about, mental illness among college students was revealed in a recent survey conducted during Bipolar Disorder Awareness Day. Survey results (conducted by NAMI) included the following points: -- One in three students report having experienced prolonged periods of depression -- One in four students report having suicidal thoughts or feelings -- One in seven students report engaging in abnormally reckless behavior -- One in seven students report difficulty functioning at school due to mental illness --50% of students rate their mental health as below average or poor, as opposed to 25% of parents Read More...
Posted by Julia at 02:24 PM | Comments (0)

August 26, 2004

'Dissolving Pill' for Sz Medication

Alamo Pharmaceuticals has developed a clozapine pill that dissolves on the tongue, eliminating the need for schizophrenia patients to call attention to their medication. Developers hope that the new delivery method will help reduce some of the stigma around the disease, and in turn improve patient compliance. Fazaclo (brand name of the pill), is not an entirely new development. There have been several attempts to find new delivery methods for schizophrenia medications, among them long-acting injections and surgically-implanted patches. All of these were created with a common goal - to improve compliance to medication treatment. However, the main barrier to Read More...
Posted by Julia at 04:12 AM | Comments (0)

Gov officials take on mental health issues, reduce stigma

Among the many factors that affect widely varying suicide rates of U.S. states, a major one is adequate access to mental health services. However, the stigma around utilizing available services is a major problem, which also contributes to rising suicide rates. "Most people with mental disorders fear a negative or patronizing response, even from health-care providers" says Dr. Michael Craig Miller, author of a recent Boston Globe editorial on suicide rates in U.S. states. "The more severe their distress, the greater the dread of reaching out." President Bush, as well as several prominant Republicans in government, have publicly advocated the Read More...
Posted by Julia at 03:49 AM | Comments (0)

August 24, 2004

New Schiz. Memory Drug in Trials

New Drug Trial for Working Memory Deficits in Schizophrenia; First ever clinical trial of a full dopamine D1 agonist in schizophrenia DATELINE: CHAPEL HILL, N.C., Aug. 24 Source: Press Release from DarPharma Pharmaceuticals (see below). DarPharma announces that enrollment has begun for a trial of DAR-0100 for the treatment of working memory and cognitive deficits associated with schizophrenia. This is the first ever clinical trial of a dopamine D1 receptor full agonist in treating working memory deficits.� The trial is sponsored by The Stanley Medical Research Institute (SMRI) in which Dr. E. Fuller Torrey is an active director, and it Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 09:25 PM | Comments (3)

August 23, 2004

A two-way communication checklist for doctors appointments

Evaluation of the Two-Way Communication Checklist as a clinical intervention. Results of a multinational randomized controlled trial. Van Os J, Altamura AC, Bobes J, Gerlach J, Hellewell JS, Kasper S, Naber D, Robert P. Br J Psychiatry. 2004 Jan;184:79-83. This European study used the Two-Way Communication Checklist (2-COM), which is a questionnaire that was developed with the aim of improving communication between patient and professionals. The 2-COM is a simple list of 20 common problems, or areas of perceived need that might be experienced by those with severe mental illness. The list includes problems with housing, relationships, money, lack of Read More...
Posted by Megan at 03:36 AM | Comments (0)

August 20, 2004

Schizophrenia and Nicotine

Read more... Schizophrenia Biology
A long-term study of more than 50,000 Swedish military conscripts suggests that early cigarette smoking may provide a shield against schizophrenia. After a variety of other possible influences were accounted for, men who smoked cigarettes at the time of conscription (ages 18-20) were less likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia during the following 27 years. The more they smoked, the lower the chance of developing schizophrenia. Each increase of one half pack per day reduced the risk by about 10%, up to 11/2 packs per day. The association did not hold in the first five years after conscription, but some Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 09:02 PM | Comments (8)

Drug Cocktails hit Psychiatry

The Wall Street Journal reported on Aug. 10th that: "Psychiatrists are increasingly turning to creations of multi-drug 'cocktails' to treat wide range of mental disorders from schizophrenia to depression, and patients who don't respond to single medication". No big news here to anyone in the psychiatry field or on the consumer side. At the NAMI California conference last weekend (Burlingame, CA) a doctor responding to people in the "Ask the Doctor" session - suggested that while its generally preferable (from the perspective of avoiding side effects, and minimizing the potential for drug/drug interactions) to minimize the number of medications a Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 07:47 AM | Comments (0)

Street Drugs and Schizophrenia

Cannabis use in Australia is at an all-time high and is putting heavy users at risk of experiencing schizophrenia, a conference in Melbourne has heard. The National Cannabis and Mental Illness Conference in Melbourne yesterday heard Australian rates of use were higher than the US, UK and much of Europe and that one in 10 regular users would become dependent on the drug. Professor David Castle, from the Mental Health Research Institute, said there was no doubt cannabis use could worsen mental illnesses like schizophrenia. But it was more difficult to say how many people would never have become ill Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 07:33 AM | Comments (8)

the President�s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health

Here is the web site for the "New Freedom Commision on Mental Health" - I haven't had a chance to review their reports yet - but you may be interested in reviewing them too. Check out the following link for all the information: Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 07:31 AM | Comments (0)

Cell's Energy System May Play Role in Schizophrenia

Read more... Schizophrenia Biology
'Biggest Ever' Study Of Its Kind in the UK May Advance The Treatment, Diagnosis And Prevention Of Schizophrenia Scientists at the Babraham Institute have made significant advances in understanding schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a mental illness which has been estimated to affect over 1% of the population and costs the NHS over �2.5 billion per year. Babraham scientists have pinpointed a breakdown in mitochondria � the power stations of the cell � as a key factor. The discovery, described in an article published in Molecular Psychiatry, was made by a team of scientists working in Dr Sabine Bahn�s research group at Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 07:07 AM | Comments (0)

Australia Show focuses on Artists w/Schizophrenia

The Mercury newspaper in Australia noted today that there is a special art show in the city of Hobart - with a focus on art from people who have schizophrenia. High Watermark III is the third exhibition of paintings, watercolours and sketches by patients from the Royal Hobart Hospital on display at the Side Space Gallery. Launching the exhibition, Deputy Premier David Llewellyn said it was one way to remove the stigma associated with mental illness. �"Living with schizophrenia is tough," he said. "While learning about art and developing their own work, the group provides positive peer contact in a Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 06:52 AM | Comments (1)

August 19, 2004

Another Gene tied to Causing Schiz, Identified

In India, schizophrenia researchers have announced that they have identified another gene that they believe may be implicated in causing schizophrenia. The report noted that: "The gene was identified in three members of a family and its mutation was observed in all the individuals affected by the mental disorder," Professor Samir K Brahamachari, Director, Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, and a member of the team of scientists that made the discovery, said. The scientists found that the three patients had a mutation in gene 'Synaptogyrin 1', he said, adding that the gene is located on Chromosome 22 in a Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 06:55 PM | Comments (0)

August 17, 2004

Can the receptor for nicotine be a target for a new drug?

Alpha-7 nicotinic receptor agonists: potential new candidates for the treatment of schizophrenia Laura F. Martin, William R. Kem and Robert Freedman Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2004 Jun;174(1):54-64. Epub 2004 Feb 19. People with schizophrenia have long been known to have high rates of cigarette smoking compared to the rest of the population. While many theories abound regarding the reason, it has been shown that people with schizophrenia often have a different reaction to nicotine in their brain compared to people without schizophrenia. This reaction to nicotine occurs at the nicotinic receptor. One thought is that nicotine may help with some of the Read More...
Posted by Megan at 06:39 PM | Comments (0)

August 16, 2004

Patient and family attitudes toward schizophrenia treatment

Irani F, Dankert M, Siegel SJ. Current Psychiatry Reports. 2004 Aug;6(4):283-8. While each person has their own unique experiences and beliefs, this review focused on highlighting the current research on attitudes towards illness, medications, non-pharmacological treatment and psychiatric research. This review highlighted the importance of considering both patient and family member attitudes for the treatment of schizophrenia. It discussed the involvement of family members in caring for affected loved ones, despite their subjective burden. Furthermore, it described studies showing that individuals with schizophrenia can sometimes have contradictory ideas (eg endorsing the need for continuous use of medication, yet reporting that Read More...
Posted by Megan at 07:10 PM | Comments (0)

Genes controling cognitive trait components (verbal learning &visual working memory) a factor in schizophrenia

Paunio T, Tuulio-Henriksson A, Hiekkalinna T, Perola M, Varilo T, Partonen T, Cannon TD, Lonnqvist J, Peltonen L. Hum Mol Genet. 2004 Aug 15;13(16):1693-702. Epub 2004 Jun 15. There is an endless search for genes involved in schizophrenia. The search has been difficult so far because there seem to be many genes affecting a number of functions in the brain. In this study, the authors tried to find genetic loci (loci=position for a gene) contributing to certain cognitive functions, by performing certain statistical analyses of genes collected from 168 Finnish schizophrenia families. Their strategy was unique since it identified the Read More...
Posted by Megan at 06:56 PM | Comments (0)

August 12, 2004

Glutamate Affects SZ Traits

Read more... Schizophrenia Biology
Researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health released findings that link one small section of one gene - which codes for the neurotransmitter glutamate - with many schizophrenic traits. The gene GRM3 normally regulates the amount of glutamate neurotransmitter that is released into nerve synapses during cell-to-cell communication. Scientists hypothesize that an abnormally functioning GRM3 releases an improper amount of glutamate in the brain, affecting cognition and raising the risk for schizophrenia. "Because of the small effects of individual genes in complex genetic disorders like schizophrenia, it is difficult to make significant associations with any one particular marker. However, Read More...
Posted by Julia at 05:59 PM | Comments (0)

August 11, 2004

2nd study links SSRIs, suicidal thoughts

SSRI antidepressants are used mainly to treat clinical depression and anxiety; however, they are also used by people with other psychiatric diagnoses (such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder) who struggle with serious depressive episodes. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have been under scrutiny for months, following an internal review of the FDA showing that youth who use these antidepressants are more likely to have suicidal thoughts. Of the SSRI antidepressants, which include Paxil, Zoloft, and Celexa, only Prozac has been officially approved for children under 18. A recent new analysis of SSRI drugs confirms the first report. According to FDA Read More...
Posted by Julia at 05:08 PM | Comments (4)

August 10, 2004

Top Ten US Psychiatric Hospitals

Thanks to Jon Stanley of the Treatment Advocacy Center for forwarding us this information. The Best Hospitals of 2004 - Psychiatry Rankings by US News and World Report Ranked only by reputation, hospitals in these specialties were names by at least 3 percent of the specialists responding to U.S. News surveys in 2002, 2003, and 2004. 1) Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston 2) New York-Presbyterian Hospital 3) Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore 4) McLean Hospital, Belmont MA 5) UCLA Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Los Angeles 6) The Menninger Clinic, Houston 7) Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven CT 8) Stanford Hospital and Clinics, Stanford CA Read More...
Posted by Julia at 04:11 PM | Comments (3)

August 09, 2004

Schizophrenia Risks During Pregnancy

Obstetricians in France have identified four complications during pregnancy that may be linked to the development of psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia: 1) hormone supplementation by diethylstilbestrol 2) severe maternal malnutrition 3) flu exposure 4) repeated psychological stress Through analysis of numerous psychiatric studies in literature, obstetricians have determined that the risk of schizophrenia is doubled if the pregnancy involves complications such as the ones listed above. Other complications include maternal diabetes, rhesus incompatibility, bleeding, preeclampsia, premature rupture of the membranes, and premature birth. They noted that the appearance of psychosis in children who had complicated births seems to be Read More...
Posted by Julia at 05:37 PM | Comments (1)

Social cognition and face processing in schizophrenia

Hall J, Harris JM, Sprengelmeyer R, Sprengelmeyer A, Young AW, Santos IM, Johnstone EC, Lawrie SM. The British Journal of Psychiatry (2004) 185: 169-170 Many people with schizophrenia describe difficulty with social function. Different areas of the brain are thought to be involved in recognizing emotion in faces (ie. parts of the brain known as the amygdala, insula and basal ganglia). More complex social judgments are believed to depend upon an interaction between different parts of the brain (prefrontal cortex and temporal lobe). Researchers have suggested that some of these brain regions (e.g. amygdala, prefrontal and superior temporal cortex) are Read More...
Posted by Megan at 05:38 AM | Comments (0)

Impact of multiple-family groups on caregivers' distress and resources.

Hazel NA, McDonell MG, Short RA, Berry CM, Voss WD, Rodgers ML, Dyck DG. Psychiatric Services. 2004 Jan;55(1):35-41. Family-member caregivers of people with schizophrenia can have substantial demands placed on their personal, financial, social, and/or emotional resources. Multiple-family group family treatment integrates elements of psychoeducation and behavioral family therapy in a group format with two clinicians and six to eight families. This approach provides information and problem-solving experiences to family members and consumers. The treatment begins with a three-session joining phase, where the clinician�s goal is to develop a solid alliance with the family and consumer, gain information about history, Read More...
Posted by Megan at 05:34 AM | Comments (0)

August 08, 2004

online medical dictionary

While we try to make sure that all the difficult terms are defined in each writeup, inevitably some may still be hard to understand. Here is a good online, searchable medical dictionary put on by pubmed that may help alleviate some problems with understanding the vocabulary you may encounter while looking at some of these articles. Let us know if this is helpful... Jake and Farzin link to online medical dictionary Authors: Jacob Ballon and Farzin Irani Read More...
Posted by Megan at 11:34 PM | Comments (0)

An initial trial of 4 new possible meds for schizophrenia

Meltzer HY, et al., Placebo-Controlled Evaluation of Four Novel Compounds for the Treatment of Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorder. Am J Psychiatry 2004; 161:975,984. This article is about a trial of 4 new types of antipsychotic medications at the beginning of their testing on people with schizophrenia. As the mechanism of schizophrenia is only partially understood, there is still room to discover new activities in the brain that may contribute to the symptoms that are visible on the outside. Traditionally, antipsychotic medications have focused on the neurotransmitter dopamine which is a chemical in the brain that when too abundant in particular Read More...
Posted by Megan at 11:31 PM | Comments (0)

Schizophrenia, the metabolic syndrome, and diabetes

Holt RIG, et al., Schizophrenia, the metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Diabetic Medicine 21, 515,523 (2004) Diabetes has been associated with schizophrenia for over a hundred years. However, it has become increasingly problematic as many of the 2nd generation antipsychotics have been linked to insulin resistance and diabetes. This article discusses the relationship between diabetes, the metabolic syndrome (which includes low HDL [good cholesterol], high LDL [bad cholesterol], elevated triglycerides, obesity, and hypertension.) This is a review article which looked at 289 papers about this subject. The metabolic syndrome and diabetes are associated with significantly higher risk for heart disease and Read More...
Posted by Megan at 11:16 PM | Comments (1)

Can Pepcid help people with weight loss? Unfortunately, not likely...

Poyurovsky M, et al., The effect of famotidine addition on olanzapine-induced weight gain in first-episode schizophrenia patients: a double-blind placebo-controlled pilot study. European Neuropsychopharmacology 14 (2004) 332,336 It is widely known that olanzapine (Zyprexa) is one of the 2nd generation antipsychotic medications that is most strongly associated with weight gain. These authors investigated the use of the drug famotidine (Pepcid) which blocks histamine receptors (H2 receptors) and is normally used in the prevention of heartburn. Histimine is a neurotransmitter (neurotransmitters are chemicals in the brain that turn on or turn off brain cells) that has influence on many processes in Read More...
Posted by Megan at 11:12 PM | Comments (1)

Topical anesthetics help with depot injections

Psychiatr Serv. 2004 Aug;55(8):940-1. Use of topical application of lidocaine-prilocaine cream to reduce injection-site pain of depot antipsychotics. Bloch Y, Levkovitz Y, Atshuler A, Dvoretzki V, Fenning S, Ratzoni G This article explores a new way to help make giving long term injectable (depot) medicines less painful. Long term medications are useful because they help to insure adherence to a medication program in that a patient only has to come to a clinic one time every two weeks or every month to receive a shot and does not have to take pills every day. As more of the newer antipsychotics Read More...
Posted by Megan at 10:56 PM | Comments (0)

A review of Valproate (Depakote) as a booster medicine for schizophrenia

Valproate as an adjunct to antipsychotics for schizophrenia: a systematic review of randomized trials. Basan A, Kissling W, Leucht S. Schizophr Res. 2004 Sep 1;70(1):33-7. This article takes a systematic look at the literature regarding the efficacy of using valproic acid (Depakote) as an adjunctive (additional to an antipsychotic) medication for schizophrenia. This medicine is a mood stabilizer and is typically a first line drug for treating bipolar disorder. However, it has properties that may make it useful in people with schizophrenia. It targets a neurotransmitter (chemical in the brain that turns on or off neurons or brain cells) called Read More...
Posted by Megan at 10:53 PM | Comments (0)

Medical decision making in antipsychotic drug choice for schizophrenia

Medical decision making in antipsychotic drug choice for schizophrenia. Hamann J, Langer B, Leucht S, Busch R, Kissling W Am J Psychiatry. 2004 Jul;161(7):1301-4. This article seeks to discern what factors are associated with prescribing patterns amongst physicians in the community. The authors looked at practices in Germany; 50 hospital based and 50 private practice psychiatrists. They conducted survey and followed prescriptions patterns with these doctors to see what their attitudes were towards newer versus older medications and other important treatment decisions. The groups differed in a couple of important ways. The hospital based psychiatrists were on the average 10 Read More...
Posted by Megan at 10:44 PM | Comments (0)

Predictors of antipsychotic treatment response in patients with first-episode schizophrenia

Br J Psychiatry. 2004 Jul;185:18-24 Predictors of antipsychotic treatment response in patients with first-episode schizophrenia, schizoaffective and schizophreniform disorders. Perkins D, Lieberman J, Gu H, Tohen M, McEvoy J, Green A, Zipursky R, Strakowski S, Sharma T, Kahn R, Gur R, Tollefson G; HGDH Research Group. This article addresses factors that are correlated with better treatment outcomes in people newly diagnosed with schizophrenia. They primarily are looking at the duration of untreated psychosis (DUP). The subjects were chosen from a study looking at haloperidol and olanzapine in new onset schizophrenia/psychotic disorder. Looking at a number of different factors, the authors Read More...
Posted by Megan at 10:40 PM | Comments (0)

August 06, 2004

Salvia Raises Risk of Schizophrenia?

It's not just illegal drugs like marijuana that can raise a person's risk of developing a psychotic disorder such as schizophrenia. Salvia, a natural hallucinogen historically used in the Mazatec indian culture in Mexico, is legally available in the United States as dried leaves or an extract that can be smoked or ingested. However, according to Rusty Payne, a public affairs official with the Washington Bureau of the DEA, salvia and other uncontrolled substances like it are currently under investigation by the scientific and health community. "Just because a drug has not been classified doesn't mean it's healthy or safe. Read More...
Posted by Julia at 07:53 PM | Comments (18)

Family-based clusters of cognitive test performance in familial schizophrenia

Authors: Fabian Hoti, Annamari Tuulio-Henriksson, Jari Haukka, Timo Partonen, Lasse Holmstrom and Jouko Lonnqvist BMC Psychiatry, 4(20), July 2004 Previous studies have shown that schizophrenia results in impairments on some neuropsychological tests involving attention, memory, executive functioning, and intelligence. As a result, traits derived from neuropsychological tests have been suggested as one type of endophenotype, which is an expression of an underlying genetic vulnerability. This study is the first to use a new visually aided clustering approach (for statistical analysis) to look at cognitive performance of families as well as individuals with schizophrenia. The authors gave neuropsychological tests to 54 Read More...
Posted by Megan at 02:08 AM | Comments (0)

August 05, 2004

Brain Disease Film Wins NAMI Award

The documentary film "People Say I'm Crazy" won the NAMI Outstanding Media Award for best television documentary of 2004. It will be aired on Cinemax at 7pm, August 18. Director John Cadigan, diagnosed with schizophrenia, and producers Katie Cadigan and Ira Wohl jointly accept the honor. The video-diary talks about director Cadigan's own experiences with schizophrenia, from the onset during his college years to the present day. According to NAMI, it is the first major film directed by someone with schizophrenia. "People Say I'm Crazy is an extremely important and moving film," said NAMI national board president Margaret Stout. "It Read More...
Posted by Julia at 06:03 PM | Comments (1)

Substance Abuse Makes Mental Illness More Likely

A recently released government report (from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), shows that adulets who had a substance abuse disorder in 2002 were about three times as likely to have a serious mental illness as those who were not substance abusers (20.4% of users, vs. 7% of non-users). Within the substance abuse population, the highest prevalence of mental illness occurred in those who used both drugs and alcohol (30.1%), followed closely by drug abusers (29.1%). Alcohol dependants had a 19% rate of mental illness. Overall, an estimated 4 million adults have both a substance abuse problem and Read More...
Posted by Julia at 05:47 PM | Comments (1)

August 04, 2004

New Research to Improve Schizophrenia Cognition

Acadia Pharmaceutical recently published a research study showing that the compound ACP-104 (N-desmethylclozapine) is similar in its chemical action to the drug clozapine (trade name Clorazil), the only anti-psychotic that partially improves cognition in schizophrenia patients. ACP-104 (the principal metabolite of clozapine) acts on m1 muscarinic receptors in the brain that affect cognitive abilities. Based on the mechanism of action of the metabolite, researchers hypothesize that it might be responsible for the cognitive benefits of clozapine. The research notes that only ACP-104, not clozapine itself, is responsible for stimulating the muscarinic receptors. They are looking at possibly developing the metabolite Read More...
Posted by Julia at 05:40 PM | Comments (0)

August 03, 2004

Computer Tool to Link Mental/Physical Health

"Pathways To Wellness", a unique computer software program designed to address some common physical ailments that afflict the mental illness population, was launched today through a collaborative effort of Eli Lilly and The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. The program is aimed at mental health professionals, and is meant to help facilitate positive changes in lifestyle and behavior that might alleviate common co-occuring physical problems in their clients. Says Betty Vreeland, program manager at the UMDNJ University Behavioral Healthcare Center for Excellence in Psychiatry, "Many individuals living with severe mental illness also have co-occurring physical problems that Read More...
Posted by Julia at 05:01 PM | Comments (0)

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