April 29, 2005

Bill MacPhee Success Story

There is an excellent story in this week's "Fortune Small Business" about Bill MacPhee, the Canadian Entrepreneur (who also happens to have schizophrenia) who started the excellent magazine focused on schizophrenia called "Schizophrenia Digest". Its an inspiring story for everyone involved with schizophrenia. See the full story More Information: Schizophrenia Digest Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 06:19 PM | Comments (1)

April 28, 2005

Weight Loss Meds Development

Today it was announced that Corcept Therapeutics Inc., of Menlo Park, Calif., reported results from two preclinical studies that show their new drug in development called "Corlux" can induce weight loss following olanzapine-induced weight gain and prevent the weight gain induced by olanzapine, brand name Zyprexa, which is one of several atypical antipsychotics that carry a warning of weight gain as a side effect. This drug is still just in early stage trials - we'll report more as it gets closer to larger scale human trials, and potential general availability. More Information: Corcept Therapeutics Inc. Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 07:35 PM | Comments (3)

Risk if mother has schizophrenia

Risk of psychiatric illness when parent has mental illness This paper looks at a large population in Finland in which the authors collected data on all children born to mothers with a psychiatric diagnosis. They were interested in the chance that those born to such mothers might develop a mental illness in their lifetime. They looked at all mothers who were born in Helsinki from 1916 to 1948 and had previously been treated in a psychiatric hospital in Finland and received a diagnosis of a schizophrenia spectrum disorder and gave birth from 1960-1964. 192 children were identified, and they were Read More...
Posted by Jacob at 12:06 AM | Comments (5)

April 27, 2005

New Negative Symptoms Drugs

Prestwick Pharmaceuticals Inc. a Washington, DC company that is developing a new drug for treatment of tardive dyskinesia, another drug called "D-Serine" for the treatment of the negative symptoms of schizophrenia - has announced that they have filed for an initial public offering to raise an estimated $ 74.8 million in preparation for the potential launch of its dopamine depletor, tetrabenazine. Prestwick said it received fast-track designation for tetrabenazine, and if the New Drug Application (NDA) is filed this quarter, the company would be eligible for FDA approval as early as the first quarter of 2006. The company licensed rights Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 04:00 PM | Comments (0)

Canada Targets Early Psychosis

Early Psychosis/Schizophrenia Diagnosis Program Expanded to include doctor's offices and schools While the Early Psychosis Intervention program in British Columbia, Canada is one of the world's leading efforts in this area and has been an important effort at increasing public awareness of early treatment for psychosis - it sounds like the program has recently been expanded significantly. A public campaign has been launched in schools and doctors' offices to warn parents about the symptoms of teenage psychosis. Officials at the Vancouver Coastal Authority say they're worried that some parents may overlook signs of teenage mental illness by writing it off Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 03:49 PM | Comments (2)

Australia studies recruiting subjects

The following classified ad calling for participants in schizophrenia research appeared in the April 27 edition of the Australian publication "The Border Mail" Help mental health studies MELBOURNE Neuropsychiatry Centre at Sunshine hospital is looking for participants in mental illness and genetics research. There are two studies: 1. The Molecular Genetics of Schizophrenia Study people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder are invited to take part in an interview about their experiences and provide a blood sample so that the role of genes in mental illness can be investigated and, 2. The Australian Study of Twins and Psychosis Read More...
Posted by Julia at 03:13 PM | Comments (0)

APA Annual Conference in GA

The American Psychiatric Association will hold its annual conference in Atlanta, GA from May 21-26, 2005. The theme of this year's meeting is "Psychosomatic Medicine: Integrating Psychiatry and Medicine.” The index for the conference includes a wide variety of mental illness topics, including a good proportion of sessions on schizophrenia spectrum disorders. For more information and registration materials, please visit http://www.psych.org/edu/ann_mtgs/am/05/index.cfm Read More...
Posted by Julia at 03:02 PM | Comments (0)

New IVAX Clozapine Tablet - 50mg

IVAX announces new Clozapine Tablet Strength The Miami-based company said it will make clozapine tablets in a 50 mg strength. Ivax (AMEX: IVX) said it will sell the drug through its Ivax Pharmaceuticals subsidiary. The newest Food and Drug Administration approval follows approvals for Ivax to sell clozapine tablets in 100 mg, 25 mg and 12.5 mg tablet dosages. Clozapine is a generic form of Clozaril, marketed by Novartis. Also announced recently are some new tablet sizes for Clozapine from another drug manufacturer: Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NASDAQ: TEVA) announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 03:21 AM | Comments (1)

April 26, 2005

Mental Illness & African Americans

The following is a newsrelease from SAMHSA Free Teleconference Training on Decreasing Stigma Associated with Mental Illness in the African American Community You are invited to participate in a free, teleconference training, “Decreasing Stigma Associated with Mental Illness in the African American Community.” This teleconference training is sponsored by the SAMHSA Resource Center to Address Discrimination and Stigma (ADS Center), a project of the Center for Mental Health Services of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The session is free to participants. Date: Thursday, May 5, 2005 Time: 3:30 p.m. to Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 08:55 PM | Comments (2)

Personal Health & Schizophrenia

Read more... Schizophrenia Coping
This just in from the University of Glasgow: University of Glasgow Report reveals need to improve physical health of people who have schizophrenia People with schizophrenia often die prematurely. However researchers from the University of Glasgow and NHS Greater Glasgow assert that much of the excess mortality of schizophrenia is preventable through lifestyle changes and the treatment of common diseases. [note; of course, this problem isn't unique to people who have schizophrenia, as this recent news suggests: Relatively few US adults report having a healthy lifestyle. Schizophrenia, its treatment and the lifestyle of sufferers contribute to high rates of illness Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 07:16 PM | Comments (0)

April 25, 2005

Glycine for Schizophrenia - Report

Glycine as a Supplementary Treatment for Schizophrenia - Special Report In response to an email from one of our visitors, we have a new Special Report that focuses on the benefits of glycine as as supplementary treatment for schizophrenia. Early clinical trials have demonstrated approximately a 20% to 40% improvement in negative symptoms. Although it is relatively uncommon in current treatment regimens, perhaps because further research is needed, early clinical trials that examine the effects of glycine or d-cycloserine supplements when given to patients in addition to standard antipsychotic treatments have shown promising results. The trials report a significant reduction Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 11:52 PM | Comments (1)

Editorial - Diabetes and Schizophrenia

Read more... Schizophrenia Coping
It's nice to be able to write a positive editorial for a change and to point out where good things are happening in the treatment for those with schizophrenia. But first, the negative against which to counter balance this. In the last issue of this newsletter, there was mention of a study out of the University of Georgia that found that Psychiatrists are only "doing a 'modest' job of monitoring for weight gain, diabetes and other metabolic problems that may result from use of the newer antipsychotics for schizophrenia." The press release concluded by stating that, "much like the current Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 11:51 PM | Comments (0)

Serdolect to be sold in Europe

In a press release (marketing document) from Lundbeck pharmaceuticals today, it was announced that Serdolect (a drug for schizophrenia that was pulled from the market in 1998) was recommended to be made available, as described below: "The CHMP (Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use, an EMEA committee) has recommended that the marketing restrictions for Serdolect(R) can be lifted and that Serdolect(R) can be marketed according to the SPC (Summary of Product Characteristics). Serdolect(R) is a drug for the treatment of schizophrenia, and the drug is expected to become available for normal prescription in Europe and is expected to be Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 07:12 PM | Comments (2)

An Expectation of Recovery

The North Carolina Sun Journal ran a great article on April 24, profiling a woman diagnosed with schizophrenia 30 years ago (at the age of 24). Sandy Goble, now married and with a nursing career, remembers what it was like to first recieve the news that she had schizophrenia. It seemed like "the end of a lot of hopes and plans." Even after dealing with the long, hard process of finding the correct diagnosis (Goble was re-diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but the official diagnosis was never clear) and a treatment plan that worked for her, Goble and the authors of Read More...
Posted by Julia at 03:41 PM | Comments (1)

Meta-analysis of psychotherapy

Analysis of Psychotherapy for Schizophrenia Articles in the May-June issue of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics examine (using a meta-analysis) the studies of cognitive behavioral therapy for schizophrenia. The authors state: "there is accumulating evidence that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can result in significant clinical benefits to these patients." Evidence shows that CBT may help reduce positive symptoms for chronic patients, as well as enhance recovery of acute patients. An editorial responding to the above article (written by Tom Sensky of Imperial College, London) questioned the use of meta-analyses to determine the efficacy of treatments. (Editor's note: I was unable to access Read More...
Posted by Julia at 03:23 PM | Comments (0)

April 22, 2005

Acadia Pharma CEO Speech

Following are excerpts from a recent speech/presentation at a financial conference by the CEO of Acadia Pharmaceuticals, a small drug company working on new drugs to minimize the cognitive problems that are common in schizophrenia. We are particularly interested in the developments at this company because of the nature of its work, and because it has been funded by the Stanley Medical Research Foundation - a private non-profit foundation focused on helping people who have schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. This is an interesting collaboration between a non-profit group (acting as venture capitalist) and a for-profit company, and this may be Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 08:05 PM | Comments (3)

Australia Work Ruling for Sz Man

This just in from Australia (and probably not something you'll see in the US any time soon): Mental illness ruling in Australia, Man who has Schizophrenia gets Job Back In what is regarded as a workplace precedent for the treatment of people with mental illness, a man sacked for misconduct will get his job back after he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. The Australian Industrial Relations Commission has ordered Murray Goulburn Co-operative, Australia's largest milk producer, must reinstate the man, who was sacked over two incidents of misconduct at work which have since been attributed to his mental state. Commissioner Bill Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 07:47 PM | Comments (1)

Schizophrenia & Brain Development

Read more... Schizophrenia Biology
Schizophrenia, Emotion and Cognition linked to the developing brain and Serotonin levels It was reported recently in the Proceedings of the National Sciences, that cognition and emotion may depend on tightly controlled serotonin levels in the developing brain, according to a newly published study. Altered levels of serotonin, the brain's "feel-good" chemical transmitter, underlie disorders ranging from addiction to schizophrenia. Louis Sokoloff and colleagues examined the brain pathway from the whiskers to sensory processing in mice lacking a protein that transports serotonin. Lacking this transporter is hypothesized to lead to elevated serotonin levels in the brain. The researchers stimulated individual Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 07:42 PM | Comments (3)

Saegis Completes Phase 1

Saegis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., announced that they have completed a phase I clinical study of their drug target called SGS518. SGS518 is being developed as a treatment for cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia (CIAS). The primary goal of phase I this study was to evaluate the safety and tolerability, as well as the pharmacokinetics, of SGS518. The placebo-controlled, blinded study was conducted among healthy volunteers in two cohorts, including a dose-ranging analysis, followed by a multidose study. Saegis has announced that the phase I study found SGS518 to be safe and well tolerated. This is still extremely early in the drug Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 07:26 PM | Comments (0)

April 21, 2005

Pre-tests for Side Effect Risks

A new study from UCLA reports that changes in the brain appearing before patients begin taking antidepressant medications can predict their likelihood of experiencing side effects. The news release from UCLA is pasted below. Perhaps future studies will extend this sort of research to testing side-effect vulnerability to anti-psychotic medications. Other studies have already attempted to determine this through other methods, such as genetic profiling. Text from the UCLA press release: In a finding that opens new doors to determining susceptibility to antidepressant side effects, researchers at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute report that changes in brain activity prior to treatment Read More...
Posted by Julia at 08:05 PM | Comments (0)

Scans Reveal Schizophrenia Risk

Read more... Schizophrenia Biology
From a news release from the NIH/National Institute of Mental Health. Schizophrenia Risk Tied to Genes Revealed by Brain Scans The NIMH reported today that Clues about how a suspect version of a gene may slightly increase risk for schizophrenia are emerging from a brain imaging study by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The gene variant produced a telltale pattern of activity linked to production of a key brain messenger chemical. The study found that increased activity in the front of the brain predicted increases in the neurotransmitter dopamine in the middle of the brain in subjects with Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 06:21 PM | Comments (5)

Music Therapy & Schizophrenia

Music therapy may help people with schizophrenia A recent review of music therapy for schizophrenia and schizophrenia-like disorders (on medicalnewstoday.com) concludes that "when added to standard care, music therapy helps people with schizophrenia improve their global state, mental state and social functioning" "People have made claims for many years about music therapy in a large number of different disorders. To assess whether there is strong evidence to support this claim [in terms of therapy for schizophrenia], a team of Cochrane Review Authors looked at four studies that met their stringent inclusion criteria. Each study compared standard care with standard care Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 04:50 AM | Comments (0)

April 20, 2005

Shock Therapy & Schizophrenia

The area of "shock therapy", also called ECT, has been a controversial area over the years - but this report suggests that perhaps it should be less controversial. I'm not at all familiar with the "Center for the Advancement of Health" so just because of that, I'd tend to want to wait to see a well-research review from a recognized medical school before making firm opinions one way or the other. Electroshock therapy speeds improvement in schizophrenia patients Shock therapy, a controversial practice conjuring frightening images of behavior control, still has a place in schizophrenia treatment, a newly updated research Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 11:29 PM | Comments (18)

April 19, 2005

Theater Covers Schizophrenia

Following is a marketing piece on a new play that has just come out at University of California, Berkeley - at the Aurora Theater company. It sounds interesting - if someone has seen the play, please post a comment and let us know your thoughts on it. Aurora Theater plays with politics of schizophrenia SOURCE: UC-Berkeley, California The Aurora Theatre Company's new production of "Blue/Orange" is about as intense to watch as a crime drama, and equally satisfying. Joe Penhall's drama of politics in the mental health field utterly engages the viewer with brilliant characters, despite the difficult subject matter. Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 08:37 PM | Comments (0)

Arcadia Pharma funds Sz Drugs

In a company press releas on April 15th, Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc. stated that it is raising $ 36 million in a private placement to fund its ongoing Phase II programs in Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia. Tom Aasen, vice president and chief financial officer for Acadia, who said a major portion of the proceeds will fund the Phase II programs in lead drug candidates that are named "ACP-103" and "ACP-104" (companies don't given potential drugs a formal name until they get close to FDA approval), and will also fund "the foundation for the late-stage development of these drug candidates." Acadia is Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 08:27 PM | Comments (1)

Inkblots spot mental illness?

A recent article in the April issue of Scientific American challenges the validity of the Rorschach inkblot test, a classical psychological assessment tool, as a definitive way to diagnose mental illness. I was personally greatly surprised (and a little unnerved) to learn that a test which involves identifying pictures seen in inkblots is apparently a valid measure for what is normal and abnormal in the incredibly complex human brain. The test itself sounds like a cross between Freudian psychoanalysis and old-fashioned phrenology. Subjects are asked to identify pictures or create stories from ambiguous inkblot photographs - drawing on their own Read More...
Posted by Julia at 03:44 AM | Comments (1)

Interview with India Psych Director

Interview with India Psychiatric Facility Director We (at schizophrenia.com) know of relatively few psychiatric resources in some international countries such as India. Likewise, although stigma everywhere is at least partially caused by miseducation and misunderstanding, the problem has been identified as particularly salient in international communities with little infrastructure for mental health services. In light of this, the following interview with the director of the Central Institute for Psychiatry in India gives an interesting perspective on what facilities exist today, what needs to be improved in future, and how social stigma in his country differs from attitudes in the west. Read More...
Posted by Julia at 03:12 AM | Comments (1)

April 18, 2005

Colleges Target Mental Illness

There is a well-written story in this weekend's Boston Globe on how brain disorders are getting much higher visibility at some colleges - so as to help catch and treat the disorder before it causes major problems. Some brief quotes from the story: "More than 40 percent of US students become so depressed during their four years in college that they have trouble functioning, while 15 percent suffer clinical depression, according to a 2004 survey of 47,202 students by the American College Health Association. The annual survey found that 1 in 10 college students had seriously considered suicide, the second-leading Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 06:41 PM | Comments (0)

Anti-Depression Therapy

This bit of news is more directed to the family members (parents, spouses and siblings of people with schizophrenia) than for those people actually suffering from schizophrenia. From reading the messages in our discussion boards of the parents, spouses and siblings of people who have schizophrenia it becomes obvious that depression is a common challenge. Many people speak of using anti-depressants and note that they help a great deal in their daily coping. Another option - a type of talk therapy called "Cognitive Behavioral Therapy" has just been proven as effective (and much more long-lasting) than anti-depressant medications. The downside, Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 06:15 AM | Comments (0)

April 17, 2005

Zyprexa Upheld, Generics Stopped

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana today upheld Eli Lilly and Company’s 2011 patent on Zyprexa(R), a commonly-used medicine for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. In the case of Eli Lilly and Company v. Zenith Goldline Pharmaceuticals et al., the court ruled in favor of Lilly on all accounts, including the patent doctrines of obviousness, double patenting, inequitable conduct, novelty, and public use. The generic medications manufacturer based in India; Dr Reddy's Laboratories responded to the announcement in a press release and said "We are disappointed by the court decision and will appeal this Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 09:26 PM | Comments (0)

New Cannabis/Schizophrenia Evidence

More Evidence of Marijuana-induced Psychosis Discovered Participants in a Swiss study who were taking cannabis-based drugs as part of a controlled therapeutic study have been found to experienced psychotic effects very similar to those experienced by people who had smoked cannabis (Marijuana). These findings, which were not expected in such a controlled environment, were published in the peer-reviewed, open-access journal BMC Psychiatry.     Dr. Bernard Favrat and colleagues, from the Institut Universitaire de Medecine Legale in Switzerland, were conducting a clinical trial into the effects of orally administered delta-9-tetrahydrocannibol (THC), the active ingredient in cannabis, when two of the male Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 06:50 PM | Comments (1)

April 16, 2005

Narsad Symposium - April 17, DC

Latest Mental Illness Research Focus of Free Symposium NARSAD DC to host second annual “Mission Possible” Scientific Symposium Leading scientists in the field of mental health will present the latest results of their research into a variety of mental illnesses during the second annual D.C. scientific symposium, Mission Possible: An Afternoon with the Experts, Sunday, April 17. Hosted by the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD), this free symposium will be held at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium (730 21st Street, NW) from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free (reservations required: 800-829-8289 and open to Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 07:44 AM | Comments (0)

April 15, 2005

Alcoholism & Schizophrenia

The Journal of the American Medical Association recently published a paper on this new drug that seems to allow people to quickly minimize their alcohol drinking. This is a new study on a drug that has yet to be FDA approved. This seems as though it could have potential value for those people suffering from dual diagnosis - people who have both schizophrenia and alcohol dependence. Here is a short summary of the study (from the company press release/marketing department): Once-monthly Injection of Vivitrex(R) Demonstrated Significant Reduction in Heavy Drinking in Conjunction with Counseling -- Alkermes, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALKS) today Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 10:23 PM | Comments (2)

Author Paul Raeburn to Speak in NY

Noted author Paul Raeburn, known for his book "Acquainted With the Night: A Parent's Quest to Understand Depression and Bipolar Disorder in His Children, will be the keynote speaker at the Families Together 10th Anniversary Conference, held May 1-2 2005 in Albany, NY. Raeburn has two children diagnosed with mental illness. The conference will initiate Children's Mental Health Week, observed May 1-7. For more information about the Families Together conference, please visit Families Together in New York State (http://www.ftnys.org) Information about "Acquainted with the Night", by Paul Raeburn Read More...
Posted by Julia at 04:08 PM | Comments (0)

Schizophrenia Conference Europe

International Schizophrenia Conference, September 2005, Copenhagen An International Schizophrenia Conference entitled 'Schizophrenia: Boundaries, psychopathology, and pathogenesis' will be held from September 8-9 2005 at the University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark. The conference is organized jointly by the Department of Psychiatry, Hvidovre Hospital (HH); Danish National Research Foundation: Centre for Subjectivity Research, University of Copenhagen (CFS); and The Graduate School of Neuroscience, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen. Conference leaders are Prof. Josef Parnas, Dr. Med and Dr. Peter Handest, MD, PhD. Registration is free but only 150 places are available (first come, first served). Registration closes on 15th June Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 06:26 AM | Comments (3)

April 14, 2005

COMT gene Research

Read more... Schizophrenia Biology
Two companies announced in this press release a joint research program on COMT gene inhibitors. The COMT gene (or more specifically specific variations of the gene) has been found to be very strongly linked to schizophrenia and it is thought by some researchers to be one of the key genes associated with schizophrenia. CeNeS and Tripos Announce Advancement in COMT Inhibitor Discovery Program DATELINE: CAMBRIDGE, U.K., & ST. LOUIS April 14, 2005 CeNeS Pharmaceuticals plc (AIM:CEN), the Cambridge-based biopharmaceutical company, and Tripos, Inc. (Nasdaq:TRPS), a provider of drug discovery informatics products and chemistry research, today announced that they have reached Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 06:43 PM | Comments (0)

April 12, 2005

Harvard on Schizophrenia

Read more... Schizophrenia Biology
There is an excellent overview of the current understanding of schizophrenia in the March issue of the "Harvard Mental Health Letter". If you can get your hands on it I highly recommend you do so. Following are some short, interesting excerpts from the long paper: " Most specialists believe schizophrenia is a developmental disorder that originates before birth and involves circuits in several regions of the brain. Through autopsies, molecular genetic studies, and technology that permits pictures of the living brain both at rest and in action, scientists are beginning to find out what has gone awry and why. They Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 11:10 PM | Comments (0)

Ocaperidone Drug Progress

This is a press release from the drug company working to develop the drug (so treat it as marketing literature, not as fact). It is, however, positive to see that there are new drugs in development that may eventually help more people who have schizophrenia. This drug that they talk about is moving towards phase three clinical trials - which is typically a 3 or 4 year long process. Neuro3d Reports Positive Results From Phase II Trials of ocaperidone in Schizophrenia DATELINE: MULHOUSE, France April 12 MULHOUSE, France, April 12 - Neuro3d, a drug discovery and development company for psychiatric Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 09:49 PM | Comments (3)

Schizophrenia probability model

Does god play dice with schizophrenia? A probabilistic model for the understanding of causation in mental illness Marco Procopio, Medical Hypotheses (2005) 64, 872–877 It has been observed since the first descriptions of schizophrenia that there is a tendency for the illness to run in families. An observation like that gives credence to a genetic theory of inheritance. However, it has also been observed that even in people with identical genes (Identical twins) there is only a 50% concordance (meaning 50% of the time that one identical twin has schizophrenia the other twin does as well.) If schizophrenia were purely Read More...
Posted by Jacob at 07:38 PM | Comments (0)

Brain test assoc. with function

Mismatch negativity deficits are associated with poor functioning in schizophrenia patients. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2005 Feb;62(2):127-36. Light GA, Braff DL. The objective of this paper was to determine if an objectively measured deficit in “mismatch negativity” could be associated with clinical deficits in schizophrenia. The defects in schizophrenia are widespread throughout the brain and do not necessarily always show up as obvious symptoms. However, these changes are often at the root of difficulties in working memory, executive function (complex planning), and lead to social/occupational deficits. Traditionally, neuropsychological tests are used to evaluate for these types of problems in the brain. Read More...
Posted by Jacob at 05:08 PM | Comments (0)

Steps to Schizophrenia prevention

Prevention of Schizophrenia - Can it Be Achieved? Cheng Lee, Thomas H. McGlashan and Scott W. Woods CNS Drugs 2005; 19 (3): 193-206 This is a very well written recent review article that takes a look at the idea of preventative psychiatry. Is/Will it be possible to detect schizophrenia at an early enough stage to prevent the full illness? The article talks about the financial and social impacts of schizophrenia, understanding the role of risk factors, stages of the illness and finally what possible steps might be possible before and after detection of the onset of symptoms. Costs of schizophrenia: Read More...
Posted by Jacob at 05:04 PM | Comments (2)

MATRICS - Improving cognition

MATRICS (Measurement and treatment to improve cognition in schizophrenia) http://www.matrics.ucla.edu/ Recently, a special issue of the journal Schizophrenia Research (December, 2004) was devoted to discussing a new research initiative spearheaded by the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) and in collaboration with researchers around the country including Stephen Marder from UCLA (see recently posted interview here). The goal of this research initiative is to lead to collaborations with pharmaceutical companies, academics and governmental researchers to develop medications that will target the cognitive aspects of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia may be most well known for effects on perceptions (i.e. hallucinations, delusions, paranoia) but Read More...
Posted by Jacob at 05:02 PM | Comments (2)

FDA Warning - Alzheimers /Antipsychotics

FDA Warning on Antipsychotic Drugs for Elderly suffering from Dementia The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Monday that "off-label" -- unapproved -- use of certain drugs used to treat behavioral disorders such as schizophrenia can be potentially fatal to elderly patients with dementia. The FDA's warning specifically related to atypical antipsychotic drugs that are approved for the treatment of mania and schizophrenia. Clinical studies of these drugs to treat behavioral disorders in elderly patients with dementia have shown a higher death rate linked with their use, compared to patients receiving a placebo, the FDA said. In its warning, the Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 05:18 AM | Comments (0)

April 10, 2005

Pharma & Healthcare Surveys

The Kaiser Family Foundation recently released a poll that revealed that: Prescription drugs play a part in half of all adults’ daily lives, and most agree that these medications have a positive value to society. Majorities say that prescription drugs have had a positive impact on the health and quality of life of Americans in general (78%) and have made a “big difference” in the lives of people with chronic conditions such as heart disease (72%) and cancer (63%). Despite recent news attention to prescription drug safety following the recall of the drug Vioxx, most Americans feel confident about the Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 06:52 AM | Comments (0)

Diabetes and Schizophrenia

A news release from the Medical College in Georgia highlights the challenge of Diabetes and Schizophrenia. Metabolic Side Effects of Antipsychotics are Known, but Rarely Monitored April 4, 2005 Psychiatrists are doing a “modest” job of monitoring for weight gain, diabetes and other metabolic problems that may result from use of the newer antipsychotics for schizophrenia, researchers say. Nearly all of the 258 members of the American Psychiatric Association in Georgia, Ohio and Iowa responding to a survey said they considered metabolic side effects serious or very serious, say researchers from the Medical College of Georgia, University of Iowa and Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 03:16 AM | Comments (0)

NAMI Walks Schedule

Folks - check the list of cities and dates - and get out there and support NAMI's awareness raising campaign. National Alliance for the Mentally Ill Sponsors Walks in 38 States DATELINE: ARLINGTON, Va. April 7    ARLINGTON, Va., April 7 /PRNewswire/ -- NFL quarterback Terry Bradshaw. Nobel Prize winner John Nash. President Abraham Lincoln. Profiles of courage and recovery from mental illness. Today, tens of thousands of Americans are taking to the streets to raise public awareness that recovery is indeed possible.    Sponsored by the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) -- the nation 's largest grassroots organization dedicated Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 02:50 AM | Comments (0)

Electronic Pill Box in Testing

Electronic Pill Box Helps People with Schizophrenia track Medications Use We've just learned of a new product that is in development that sounds like it could be of value to people who have schizophrenia. The Med-eMonitor electronic pill box reminds patients when to take medicine and alerts doctors if a patient stops taking medication.    The device sends this information to a secure Web server, where practitioners monitoring a patient's care can see the information and intervene quickly if the patient stops taking medicine or reports ill-effects. The Web server also updates the device with new alerts, like upcoming doctor visits Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 02:35 AM | Comments (0)

Book: 50 Signs of Mental Illness

Yale University Press has published a new book titled "50 Signs of Mental Illness" We haven't reviewed the book yet - but the publisher's press release suggests that it could be relevant for many of our visitors. Subtitled "A User-Friendly Guide to Psychiatric Symptoms and What You Should Know About Them," this book may show you that you know even less than you thought you did about mental illness and cause you to look at others -- and yourself -- in a different light. Author James Whitney Hicks, director of a New York forensic psychiatric center and an assistant clinical Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 02:26 AM | Comments (2)

John Nash Interview

Following is a recent interview of John Nash. Glimpsing inside a beautiful mind Mathematician and Nobel laureate Dr John Nash tells Shane Hegarty about his extraordinary life - and what he thought of it on film Dr John Nash reckons he might work on for a while yet. "It's better to be working than not working. I'm not sure how much I can do at this age, but there are many cases of farmers who reach 100 and are still working." Could he see himself working at 100 years old? "Oh sure. But you have to have luck to live Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 02:05 AM | Comments (49)

Internet Positives in Treatment

A very interesting new study was recently published (Feb. 1st)in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. In this study they looked at how the internet could be used as a positive developmental tool for a 15 year old boy who suffers from psychosis (the broader term that covers schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder and related disorders). The case study "emphasizes some of the ways in which the Internet may have a positive impact on adolescent development, further research is indicated to evaluate the contexts in which the Internet serves healthy developmental processes and those in which Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 01:42 AM | Comments (0)

Navigating Canada's Mental Health System

Book helps navigate mental health system A new booklet has been produced by the Canadian Mental Health Association (Guelph Office) for individuals and families that have been newly diagnosed with a mental illness to help them nagivate the mental health system in that city. If its not already available - it seems like this is something that every city should have- both for handouts and for internet access. The local newspaper in Guelph, Canada noted that "once the shock of diagnosis wears off, there's a complicated mental health system to navigate, says Jessie Baynham, communications specialist with the Guelph office Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 01:29 AM | Comments (0)

Scientologists and Mental Illness

There is much good research going on in schizophrenia - with new advancements being announced almost every day. But - there are always some groups stuck firmly in the 15th century, and one of these groups is (ironically enough) known as "Scientology" - which for some unknown reason believes that every organ but the brain can be get damaged or diseased. Its as if they've completely ignored the progress in neuroscience and schizophrenia during the past 100 years; a truly disturbing situation. How many thousands or tens of thousands of children could be hurt by the delays of treatment caused Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 01:18 AM | Comments (3)

Pregnancy, Cats and Schizophrenia

Another research study has been published that supports the theory that the risk for developing schizophrenia can be increased if a pregnancy mother is exposed to the toxoplasmosis virus (commonly carried by cats). The study noted that Individuals with schizophrenia were 2.42 times more likely than controls to have been exposed to high Toxoplasma levels. This toxoplasmosis link to schizophrenia is a theory that Dr. E. Fuller Torrey initiated (I believe) over a decade ago - and the data supporting it continues to be published. The key message here is that when a person is pregnant they should avoid cats Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 12:49 AM | Comments (0)

Psychotic Behavior Explained?

The following is from a press release from Oregon Health & Science University: OHSU scientist helping explain basis of psychotic behavior Findings could lead to improved treatments for schizophrenics, amphetamine abusers PORTLAND, Ore. -- An Oregon Health & Science University researcher is among an international team closing in on why many people with schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders are "supersensitive" to the powerful neurotransmitter dopamine. David Grandy, Ph.D., associate professor of physiology and pharmacology, OHSU School of Medicine, co-authored a study appearing recently in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that found a link between dopamine supersensitivity and increased Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 12:44 AM | Comments (11)

Medications Minimize Brain Damage

A new research study provides some early but positive signs that the newer antipsychotic medications may be better at minimizing the brain damage (specifically the gray matter loss that is common in the early stages of the onset of schizophrenia). This is only one study, (so it needs to be confirmed by independent third parties) - and it may have been funded by the drug company involved (as they usually are), so results could potentially be biased. Lastly, there is a weakness from this study in terms of the lack of another control group – people who have schizophrenia, but Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 12:24 AM | Comments (9)

April 09, 2005

Stigma and Descrimination Survey

PARTICIPATE IN STIGMA AND DISCRIMINATION INTERNET SURVEY The Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation at Boston University is conducting a brief anonymous survey about the stigma and discrimination people in recovery encounter in everyday life situations and about the ways they deal with such negative experiences. Findings from this survey will inform the development of a new intervention intended to foster the competence of people in recovery to cope with stigma and discrimination. If you are interested in contributing to this study, please complete a brief anonymous internet survey and/or let others know about this study. To find out more about the Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 05:00 PM | Comments (0)

Cognitive Enhancement Drug News

Cognitive Enhancement Drug News From a Company press release by Saegis Pharmaceuticals: HALF MOON BAY, Calif., March 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Saegis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing medicines that protect and enhance memory and cognition, today announced the successful completion of a Phase I clinical study of SGS518. SGS518 is being developed as a treatment for Cognitive Impairment Associated with Schizophrenia (CIAS). The primary objective of the Phase I study was to evaluate safety and tolerability, as well as the pharmacokinetics, of SGS518. The placebo-controlled, blinded study was conducted among healthy volunteers in two cohorts, including a dose-ranging Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 12:20 AM | Comments (0)

Michigan's New Treatment Law

The Beginning of Hope: Kevin's Law to Aid Mentally Ill; Program Launched Today Makes Michigan's Mental Health Treatment Law More Humane Press Release - DATELINE: ARLINGTON, Va., March 29 Effective today, Kevin's Law enables Michigan to better help those who refuse treatment because of incapacitating symptoms of illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The package of bills known as Kevin's Law (SB 683-86) was championed by Sens. Tom George (R, 20th District) and Virg Bernero (D, 23rd District) and signed by Gov. Jennifer Granholm in December. Kevin's Law allows judges to order outpatient treatment for people with untreated severe mental Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 12:19 AM | Comments (0)

Generic Zyprexa Approved

Zyprexa Generic Tentatively Approval Mylan Pharmaceuticals confirmed recently that it has received tentative approval from the FDA to market a generic version of fellow-US pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly's schizophrenia drug Zyprexa (olanzapine). Mylan's abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) covers the 2.5 mg, 5.0 mg, 7.5 mg, 10.0 mg, 15.0 mg and 20.0 mg dosages of Zyprexa. Also, the FDA granted tentative approval for Teva Pharmaceutical Industries 'ANDA for olanzapine tablets 2.5, 5, 7.5, 10, 15 and 20mg. Final approval is subject to the resolution of patent litigation and the expiration of any exclusivity period applying to another ANDA filer. The Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 12:17 AM | Comments (3)

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