May 31, 2005

Mentally Ill Prison Rehab Programs, Scientology Recruiting Grounds?

The Los Angeles Times has a news story on how Criminon International (a Scientology associated group that works in many countries of the world) is providing an "anti-psychiatry" rehabilitation program in one of the California prisons. What is important about this news story from the LA Times is that it suggests that this group is recommending people avoid anti-psychotic medications - the treatment most recommended by experts (and backed up by many well-accepted, independent, peer-reviewed clinical studies demonstrating effectiveness in treating schizophrenia). In other words, the LA Times story suggests that Criminon International is recommending people who have psychiatric diseases Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 06:49 PM | Comments (6)

Virtual Reality Treatment for Schizophrenia?

An interesting story about how virtual reality is being used in Korea to help people with schizophrenia. The article states "At the Virtual Reality Clinic of Severance Mental Health Hospital located in Gwangju, Gyeonggido, this virtual reality therapy program is being held on a daily basis. The clinic is the first professional virtual treatment institute for schizophrenia in the world. This character rehabilitation system using virtual reality was co-developed by a joint team headed by Professor Kim Jae-jin of the Mental Health Hospital and Professor Kim In-yeong of the Medical Engineering Lab of Hanyang University." More information: Click Here to Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 06:33 AM | Comments (0)

May 30, 2005

Childhood schizophrenia and IQ

IQ stabilization in childhood-onset schizophrenia Gochman PA, Greenstein D, Sporn A, Gogtay N, Keller B, Shaw P, Rapoport JL. Childhood onset schizophrenia (COS) is rare, but occurs in children who show symptoms of schizophrenia prior to the age of 13. This illness is usually associated with severe and persistent psychotic symptoms and there is increased brain loss (in gray matter). In this study, the researchers wanted to see what happens to IQ in the long term for children with COS. Starting from 1990, they recruited children with COS to participate in this prospective, longitudinal study. They included 70 children with Read More...
Posted by Farzin at 04:48 PM | Comments (2)

Essay on bias in medical journals

Medical Journals Are an Extension of the Marketing Arm of Pharmaceutical Companies Smith, R PLoS Med 2(5): e138 An essay written by Richard Smith, an ex-editor of the British Medical Journal and current member of the board of the Public Library of Science discusses his views on how he thinks medical journals can be biased by the pharmaceutical industry. He writes about his perspective on how pharmaceutical advertisements in journals can be misleading, how clinical trials sponsored by pharmaceutical companies may be biased towards the companies that sponsor them, why pharmaceutical companies get the results they want, how journal editors Read More...
Posted by Farzin at 04:02 PM | Comments (1)

May 28, 2005

Highlights from Schizophrenia Research Conference

A summary of research findings presented at the International Conference on Schizophrenia Research (April 2-6 2005, in Savannah, GA) is available from Medscape ( The following are a few salient points from the report, many of which has also reported on in recent months, and which are available in our news archives. 1. Much research has been done to identify pre-natal risk factors for schizophrenia. According to a scientist from Perth, Australia (where one of the first studies of mothers with schizophrenia and their offspring has recently been completed), studies have identified obstetric events that can increase the risk Read More...
Posted by Julia at 10:49 PM | Comments (0)

May 27, 2005

Editorial: Daniel Fisher Workshop

A Review of a Dan Fisher Workshop An editorial by MARVIN ROSS Dr. Daniel Fisher, a psychiatrist who suffers from schizophrenia and who heads the National Empowerment Center, told the audience at his recovery workshop in Hamilton, Ontario that when he first entered psychiatry he found that his ideas ran counter to the newly emerging physiological theories of mental illness. “They were all jumping on the brain and I was jumping off” he said. While science has made considerable progress in defining the changes in the brain of people with serious mental illness, Fisher continues to espouse controversial views to Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 08:42 PM | Comments (3)

How not to write a resume

Read more... Schizophrenia Coping
Searching through the blog search engine at I came across a blog entry from an Human Resources recruiter who received a resume from a person who had schizophrenia. On this web site ( - many people have schizophrenia, so its not a big deal - but out in the rest of the world, I wouldn't recommend you include such personal medical information in your resume (just as you wouldn't put that you had cancer on your resume). Also - don't include any information about drug addictions in the past, nor anything about your hepatitis C. ... focus on your Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 05:24 AM | Comments (4)

Schizophrenia and Substance Abuse Treatment

Integrated therapy for schizophrenia and substance abuse improves outcomes A news report today suggests that "Integrated dual disorders treatment appears to result in a good outcome for the majority of patients with schizophrenia and coexisting substance use disorders, report researchers from Dartmouth Medical School in Lebanon, New Hampshire, USA." "Because patients with schizophrenia and substance abuse present a complex set of interwoven problems and treatment needs, a consensus has developed in favor of combining mental health and substance abuse treatment, which is termed integrated treatment," note Haiyi Xie and team. Full Story Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 03:46 AM | Comments (1)

Schizophrenia and Left Handedness

Read more... Schizophrenia Biology
An new review related to schizophrenia and left handedness covers the changes to the structure of the brain, including which part of the brain deals with which functions have often been thought to be important in schizophrenia. Several studies have noted a higher rate of left-handedness in schizophrenic people although some scientists think this is due to ambidextrousness rather than genuine left-handedness. A recent review of 40 studies into 'handedness' and schizophrenia found that schizophrenic people were more likely to be left-handed although there was often a lack of consistency about the way in which handedness was defined. Dragovic, M., Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 03:19 AM | Comments (0)

May 26, 2005

South Carolina Insurance Progress

Health insurance companies in South Carolina will be required to include coverage for depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and other mental illnesses under a new law. The legislation doesn't cover drug or alcohol addiction treatments and would not be required on policies for businesses with 50 or fewer workers. But they would be required to cover treatments for illnesses ranging from bipolar disorder to post-traumatic stress disorder to adolescent and childhood depression. It was reported that the legislation is similar to laws now on the books in 33 states, according to the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill of South Carolina. Source: Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 11:21 PM | Comments (0)

Early Schizophrenia Detection Programs Starting

Early Detection Program for Schizophrenia and other Psychiatric disorders planned in Canadian province of Saskatchewan Its great to see that early detection programs seem to be spreading across Canada quite quickly now. It was announced today that the province of Saskatchewan is planning a special program for the early detection and treatment of schizophrenia and other serious psychiatric disorders. Perhaps one day these types of programs will be rolled out in the USA. If Advocates, parents and NAMI members push hard enough it seems likely that it happen sooner rather than later. I believe that something like this was proposed Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 10:39 PM | Comments (1)

May 25, 2005

Cat Parasite Linked to Schizophrenia

Dr. E. Fuller Torrey first suggested over a decade ago that parasites and viruses are likely to be linked to the development schizophrenia. New research further substantiates this link - with specific reference to the Toxoplasma gondii parasite that is common to cats. This is an important reason why women who may become pregnant should avoid exposure to cats. The study, as reported by Reuter's, stated: "Pregnant women with high levels of antibodies to a common parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, run the risk having a child who will develop schizophrenia or a schizophrenia-like disorder in adulthood, new research suggests. Infection with Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 05:51 AM | Comments (2)

May 24, 2005

Brain Disorders and demand for alcohol, cocaine, and cigarettes

The current issue of the reseach journal "Economic Enquiry" has a paper on the issue of "Mental Illness and the Demand for Alcohol, Cocaine, and Cigarettes" - that makes for interesting reading. It draws conclusions that are of interest to anyone trying to help people with brain disorders: "Results show that individuals with a history of mental illness are 26% more likely to consume alcohol, 66% more likely to consume cocaine, and 89% more likely to consume cigarettes. This high-participation group is also price-responsive, although their price elasticities differ somewhat from those without mental illness. The results provide added justification Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 08:42 PM | Comments (8)

Lundbeck Pharma Update

Excerpts from the Q1 2005 H. Lundbeck A/S Earnings Conference Call DR. CLAUS BRAESTRUP, PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, H. LUNDBECK A/S ... DR. CLAUS BRAESTRUP: I think that I will start, this is Claus Braestrup, on the question number 2 about Sertindole in the United States while somebody else is looking for some of the numbers you are asking for. And for Sertindole we have now achieved the approval in 25 European countries and in the United States we have at an earlier point and we've also stated that in public at a meeting with the FDA at which Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 08:18 PM | Comments (0)

May 22, 2005

Stem Cell Breakthrough

Scientists in South Korea recently achieved a significant breakthrough in the quickly developing field of stem cell research. Using somatic cell nuclear transfer techniques (transferring the complete DNA of an adult into the emptied-out donated egg of an unrelated woman, thus creating a "stem cell"), the scientists were able to successfully create stem cell lines using the DNA of chronically ill or injured patients. This is the first time that patient-specific stem cell lines have been engineered, and thus it represents a huge step forward towards the eventual use of stem cells for treating degenerative diseases. A stem cell line Read More...
Posted by Julia at 09:49 PM | Comments (2)

nicotine treatment enhances automatic auditory processing

A Research Study from the academic journal titled: Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior Transdermal nicotine treatment enhances automatic auditory processing.     "Mismatch negativity (MMN) is a component of event-related potentials (ERPs) with a wide-ranging applicability to the investigation of neuronal substrates of information processing in normal and psychopathological states," scientists in Japan explained.     "Nicotine has been shown to be implicated in the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia or Alzheimer disease, and has also been proposed as a self-administered drug in schizophrenia," noted R. Inami and colleagues at Juntendo Izunagaoka Hospital. They conducted a study "to elucidate the effect Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 07:39 PM | Comments (0)

May 20, 2005

Schizophrenia Awareness Week

Schizophrenia Awareness Week Here is the press release from the National Schizophrenia Foundation: Schizophrenia Awareness Week: May 22-28, 2005; Schizophrenia: It's Not What You Think! LANSING, Mich., May 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Schizophrenia is NOT hopeless. It's NOT the result of bad parenting or a weak personality. Schizophrenia is NOT the same as split personality disorder. In an effort to set the record straight and reduce these kinds of misconceptions in the general public, the National Schizophrenia Foundation has declared May 22-28 to be Schizophrenia Awareness Week. This year's theme is appropriately "Schizophrenia: It's Not What You Think!"    Affecting more than Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 06:07 PM | Comments (2)

Treatment Advocacy Center Award

from a press release from the Treatment Advocacy Center: FLORIDIANS HONORED WITH NATIONAL MENTAL ILLNESS ADVOCACY AWARD Mutual tragedy spurs successful reform of Florida law for people with severe mental illnesses ARLINGTON, VA - The board of directors of the Treatment Advocacy Center today announced that Seminole County Sheriff Donald Eslinger, Linda Gregory of Jacksonville, and Alice Petree of Sanford are the winners of its annual national mental illness advocacy award. The Treatment Advocacy Center (TAC) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to removing barriers to treatment of severe mental illnesses. May is national mental health month. Eslinger, Gregory, and Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 01:49 AM | Comments (2)

May 19, 2005

Pharma Company Updates

This is the season for pharmaceutical company updates to the financial press, and conferences for the pharmaceutical industry. Following are some short excerpts from presentations from different companies - on their programs supporting their drugs. These are made to professional audiences (typically financial analysts and medical professionals). We also have excerpts from annual stockholder meetings - which can be interestingly unscripted events as shareholders speak their minds on issues important to them. We've excerpted some of the more interesting question and answer sessions that we've come across... Eli Lilly - Zyprexa Manufacturer: Eli Lilly at Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. Health Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 07:09 PM | Comments (1)

Clozapine Monthly Monitoring Announced

FDA Grants Monthly WBC Monitoring for FazaClo(R) (clozapine, USP); Patient Registry for FazaClo Orally Disintegrating Tablets Already Configured for Convenient New Monitoring Schedule From a company Marketing/Press release: PARSIPPANY, N.J., May 18 In a move that will bring added convenience to thousands of clozapine patients and healthcare providers, Alamo Pharmaceuticals' FazaClo (clozapine, USP) -- a product for patients with treatment-resistant schizophrenia - may now offer monthly safety monitoring. Like all products containing the active ingredient clozapine, treatment with FazaClo is monitored prior to filling each prescription and refill in order to limit the risk of agranulocytosis, a rare but serious Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 06:39 PM | Comments (0)

Antipsychotics OK during Pregnancy?

A new report out of Canada that included 151 women suggests that taking antipsychotic drugs like Zyprexa(olanzapine), Risperdal, clozapine, etc. may be OK during pregnancy. Reuter's reports that "Pregnant women who take atypical antipsychotics such as clozapine, olanzapine, or risperidone, do not appear to be at increased risk of giving birth to a child with a birth defect" In the study... "A total of 60 women had been exposed to olanzapine, 49 to risperidone, 36 to quetiapine, and 6 to clozapine. The outcomes in these women were compared to outcomes in a group of pregnant women who had not been Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 06:24 AM | Comments (5)

Photo Exhibit - Fine Line: Mental Health/Mental Illness

There is an excellent new exhibit at the Houston Center for Photography, titled "Fine Line: Mental Health/Mental Ilness" that sounds like the sort of high quality, educational exhibit that should travel around the country as part of educational and fund-raising effort. More details and stories below - and congratulations to Michael Nye for what sounds like a superb exhibit. For more information on how you can host this exhibit in your city - see "Micheal Nye's Technical Information". Fine Line: Mental Health/Mental Illness, a documentary of voices, stories and portraits by Michael Nye, (San Antonio, TX) Main Gallery & Gallery Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 03:03 AM | Comments (2)

May 17, 2005

Magnets for Audio Hallucinations

News reports out of Australia suggests more positive examples in the use of special magnets, in a therapy formally called repetative Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (or rTMS) for reduction of the audio hallucinations that are common in schizophrenia. The news report suggests that: "Using magnetic fields to stimulate the brains of schizophrenia patients is showing promise as a way of quietening the voices in their heads, a Sydney psychiatrist says. Colleen Loo is partway through an Australian pilot study using a non-invasive treatment, known as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), on people with schizophrenia who experience daily auditory hallucinations. Dr Loo, of Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 06:22 PM | Comments (1)

Book: Sisters of Schizophrenia

Pam Wagner (who writes the blog at called "WagBlog" ) and her twin sister Carolyn have just completed their new book titled "Divided Minds: Twin Sisters and Their Journey Through Schizophrenia". The book can be ordered today at (see below for link). We'll have reviews of the book and (we hope) a discussion with the authors, at a future date to be announced: Divided Minds: Twin Sisters and Their Journey Through Schizophrenia Pamela Spiro Wagner and Carolyn S. Spiro. St. Martin's, $24.95 (336p) ISBN 0-312-32064-7 This harrowing but arresting memoir—written in alternating voices by identical twins, now in Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 05:40 AM | Comments (1)

Benefits of group psychotherapy

What are the effects of group cognitive behaviour therapy for voices? A randomised control trial. Wykes T, Hayward P, Thomas N, Green N, Surguladze S, Fannon D, Landau S. Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is a type of talk psychotherapy that has been shown to help decrease positive symptoms of schizophrenia (eg. voices). But, it is still rarely provided to persons with schizophrenia in the United States, in contrast to Great Britain where it is widely available. This might be because of reasons such as a greater skepticism in the US about the benefits of psychotherapy for persons with severe mental Read More...
Posted by Farzin at 02:36 AM | Comments (0)

May 12, 2005

Children's Schizophrenia Book

Helicopter Man - New Children's Book on Schizophrenia There is a new Children's book coming out about a homeless young boy and his father who has schizophrenia. It sounds like it might be a valuable book to help educate children about schizophrenia. The publisher suggests that it is targeted at a reading level of Ages 9 to 12 years. "Helicopter Man" Description and Sample From the Publisher A compelling story of a family coping with mental illness, in the manner of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Diary: Saturday, May 6th The helicopters are flying low today. Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 09:56 PM | Comments (1)

May 11, 2005

90% Sweden Murderers Mentally Ill?

90% of Swedish murderers are Mentally ill: Study Suggests While not directly relevant to the USA, an estimated 90 percent of murderers in Sweden are mentally ill, a higher percentage than believed previously, suggests a Swedish study which has been published by The American Journal of Psychiatry in November of 2004. Moreover, concluded the researchers, their findings underline the importance of psychiatric assessment in homicide offenders and suggest that treatment might have a preventive role. The Swedish situation is very different from that in countries where organized crime, illegal drug use, and easy access to guns (such as in the Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 06:11 PM | Comments (2)

Clozapine Effectiveness Explained?

Clozapine (Clozaril) is frequently noted by schizophrenia researchers to be the "Gold Standard" (the best possible drug) for treatment of schizophrenia, in terms of effectiveness - but it unfortunately has occasional side effect of causing one to two percent of patients to develop a condition called agranulocytosis, in which the white blood cell count drops dramatically. The patient becomes extremely vulnerable to infections and unable to fight them off. This condition is dangerous and potentially fatal. This week there is news that suggests that researchers are beginning to understand exactly why Clozapine is so effective. In a recent study conducted Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 03:52 PM | Comments (3)

May 10, 2005

Study: r TMS for Schizophrenia

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) reduces auditory hallucination rate and severity More good news on transcranial magnetic stimulation for treatment of schizophrenia. A new researchs study out of Korea further suggests that Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) reduces the frequency and severity of schizophrenia-related auditory hallucinations. In the study that was recently published, brain researchers in South Korea evaluated the effects of rTMS "on the left and right temporoparietal cortex compared with sham stimulation" in a group of schizophrenics with treatment-refractory . "Thirty-nine patients with schizophrenia and treatment-refractory AH were allocated randomly to one of three groups: daily left, right, Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 09:02 PM | Comments (0)

Family dysfunction influences psychosis

Family dysfunction influences Psychosis & Schizophrenia risk A recent report on the Psychiatry Matters web site suggests that "Family dysfunction may increase the risk of psychotic symptoms in people with a history of migration, study results published in the British Journal of Psychiatry show." In the study, Family dysfunction was recorded for the children if they reported at least three of seven problems: poor relationship between adults in the household; lack of warmth between parents and child; overt disturbance of the mother-child, father-child, or sibling-child relationship; parental overprotection; and child abuse. Patino and team found that a history of migration Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 08:43 PM | Comments (2)

Los Angeles Schizophrenia Story - Juilliard Musician Becomes Homeless

Excellent Advocacy/Personal Stories on Homelessness and Schizophrenia During the past month LA Times Columnist Steve Lopez has had three excellent stories about a homeless man (Nathaniel Anthony Ayers) who had attended Ohio University and Ohio State University, and then went to Juilliard (the famous music school in New York) for two years in the early '70s. He developed schizophrenia many years ago and now lives in the streets of Los Angeles. The stories demonstrate the challenges and successes working with people who have schizophrenia, in a touchingly accurate column. The world needs more stories like this! Following are the three Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 08:10 PM | Comments (4)

Schizophrenia Care-Giver illness

Read more... Schizophrenia Coping
Predictors of burden and infectious illness in schizophrenia caregivers This research paper is rather old (published in 1999) but we just came across it, its interesting, and it highlights the stress that caregivers dealing with chronic mental illnesses experience amd the effects of that stress. In essence, what the paper says is that people caring for people with schizophrenia undergo extremely high levels of stress that are dependent upon the active symptoms of schizophrenia, and that the higher the stress, the greater risk of illness of the caregiver. (so extra percautions need to be taken for the care-giver to take Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 05:43 PM | Comments (0)

Iloperidone Medications Update

Iloperidone Update - Antipsychotic Medication in Development Iloperidone is a proprietary antipsychotic agent in Phase III clinical development for the treatment of schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders. Vanda Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which acquired the worldwide rights to develop and commercialize iloperidone from Novartis Pharma AG, is now pursuing the advancement of the iloperidone Phase III development program, and is expected to initiate Phase III clinical testing of iloperidone later this year. Vanda was founded by Dr. Argeris N. Karabelas, former CEO of Novartis Pharmaceuticals, and Dr. Mihael Polymeropoulos, former Vice President of Pharmacogenetics at Novartis Pharmaceuticals. Source: Press/Marketing release from Titan Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 05:16 PM | Comments (0)

May 09, 2005

Caregiver Coping in Schizophrenia

Caregiver strategies in schizophrenia (and bipolar) This is a paper that is looking at what it is like for a caregiver of someone with a chronic mental illness. They cite many references about papers regarding the caregiver role in schizophrenia or dementia, but in this paper they focus more on bipolar affective disorder. Specifically, the authors wanted to compare and contrast the coping styles of people who took care of people with bipolar vs. people with schizophrenia. They also looked at demographic characteristics to see what factors impacted the styles of care given by the person responsible. The authors looked Read More...
Posted by Jacob at 11:03 PM | Comments (0)

San Francisco Schizophrenia Event

San Francisco Bay Area (actually, San Jose) Screening of "People Say I'm Crazy" This just in from Katie Cadogan: This coming Sunday, May 15, 2005 John and I will be at a benefit screening of our award-winning film, People Say I'm Crazy followed by a VIP reception and exhibit of John's woodcuts at the San Jose Museum of Art. Funds raised will support the South Bay's primary mental health service provider - Alliance for Community Care - the organization that helped John with housing, case management and other support in the early years of his illness. This is the first Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 07:42 PM | Comments (1)

May 07, 2005

Human Rights for Mentally Ill

One of our members (Capricorne) pointed us towards this recent report on human rights for the mentally ill, written by an instructor at the Harvard University school of public health. A brief excerpt is below: Out of the Shadows: Using Human Rights Approaches to Secure Dignity and Well-Being for People with Mental Disabilities Mental health is perhaps the most neglected area of health policy and programming. According to the 2001 World Health Report, “some 450 million people suffer from a mental or behavioral disorder, yet only a small minority of them receive even the most basic treatment” [1]. More than Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 11:40 PM | Comments (2)

NAMI-sponsored Low Cost Drug Assistance Program

There is a new prescription drug-assistance program endorsed by NAMI. The "Partnership for Prescription Assistance" (PPRA) is meant to serve as a point-of-access and a guide to the many patient assistance programs currently available across the United States. The Partnership currently includes a list of national- and state-based partner programs such as pharmaceutical companies, pharmacists, health care organizations, patient advocacy programs, and consumer groups. The Partnership is not a traditional Patient Assistance Program itself; instead, it seeks to match up consumers with an appropriate existing program, and assist them in filling out the necessary paperwork to apply. Interested persons can Read More...
Posted by Julia at 02:46 PM | Comments (0)

PBS TV Special on Mentally Ill in Jail

PBS Frontline Addresses Mental Illness and Criminal Justice Issues On May 10, PBS will broadcast nationally a documentary on mental illness filmed inside the Ohio state prison system. The broadcast coincides with two national conferences being held in Columbus, Ohio on May 11-12 on mental illness, law enforcement and the criminal justice system, co-sponsored by the Ohio chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI). "The New Asylums" is a thought-provoking film about the shift of the burden of mental healthcare costs to jails and prisons -- going deep into Ohio's prison system to explore issues that involve Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 07:23 AM | Comments (0)

California NAMI Conference

NAMI California Annual Conference 2005 will be held on August 19 & 20, in Southern California this year. Register Now! NAMI California’s Annual Conference 2005 will be held at the Irvine Marriott, Irvine, on August 19 & 20, 2005. Our theme this year is “The Many Faces of NAMI California: We’re All One Family”. Members and other interested individuals can pre-register now More information: California NAMI Annual Conference Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 05:02 AM | Comments (0)

May 06, 2005

Australia Schiz. Conferences

Australia Schizophrenia Awareness Week Date: 15-22-May-2005 Venue: Masonic Centre, Cnr Goulburn and Castlereagh Sts Details: The focus this year is on young people and early intervention. Main themes include Legal Updates, Youth issues, Drug Use and Employment. Web Site for Details: Contact: Please direct all symposium enquiries to Pam Bruce on 02 9879 2600 or email Please direct all Parliamentary lunch enquiries to Sue or Myriam on 02 9879 2600. Source: One List of Mental Health-related Conferences in Australia Professional Conferences on Mental Illness (predominantly Australian Conferences - but many others around the world) Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 07:06 PM | Comments (1)

Canada Schizophrenia Conferences

Schizophrenia Society of Canada, Annual Convention SCHIZOPHRENIA SOCIETY OF CANADA 2005 ANNUAL CONFERENCE Hosted in partnership with the Société québécoise de la schizophrénie June 2th - 5th 2005 Montréal, Québec More Information: Schizophrenia Society of Canada, National Conference ALSO.... LIVING WITH SCHIZOPHRENIA IN 2005 Schizophrenia Society Of Nova Scotia In Partnership With Province of Nova Scotia Is Pleased To Present The 17th ANNUAL CONFERENCE Thursday June 23, 2005 Sydney, Cape Breton Friday June 24, 2005 Halifax: Pier 21 Masters of Ceremonies Mr. Hugh Bennett Mr. Michael MacDonald ~ 8:15 REGISTRATION & COFFEE 9:00 WELCOME & INTRODUCTION Ms. Louise Bradley Director, Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 06:58 PM | Comments (3)

NAMI National Convention - June 17

Folks - register early to get discounted rates for the NAMI National Convention in Austin, Texas this year. NAMI's 2005 Annual Convention will take place June 18-21, 2005 in Austin, TX at the Austin Hilton Hotel. The conference agenda is currently being developed. The latest details will be posted here as they become available. Who belongs at the NAMI Convention? consumers family members of people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, etc. advocates and friends mental health professionals policy makers NAMI leaders anyone who believes in the importance of the NAMI movement Registration is now open! To take advantage of our special Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 06:53 PM | Comments (0)

Schizophrenia and Bipolar Genetics

Read more... Schizophrenia Biology
Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder Genetic Links Substantiated In recently-published research from the Journal of Medical Genetics, it has been noted that there is increasingly solid evidence that there are specific "susceptibility genes" that are shared between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder -- genes that make a person more likely to get either schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. The researchers stated that "Much work has been done to identify susceptibility genes in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Several well established linkages have emerged in schizophrenia. Strongly supported regions are 6p24-22, 1q21-22, and 13q32-34, while other promising regions include 8p21-22, 6q16-25, 22q11-12, 5q21-q33, 10p15-p11, and Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 05:45 PM | Comments (1)

New APA Consumer Website is an American Psychiatric Association-sponsored consumer website, meant to provide information to the public about mental health treatment and resources. It was launched today as part of the "Healthy Minds. Healthy Lives campaign taking place during May, the nationally-observed "Mental Health Month." According to the Medical News Today article which announced the release of the website, includes warning signs, treatment options, and prevention measures for a variety of common mental health disorders. After a review of the website, I would disagree. The actual information about major mental illnesses (such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, etc) is sparse. It Read More...
Posted by Julia at 03:18 PM | Comments (0)

Editorial letter on smoking risk

Tobacco Use and Cataracts in Patients With Schizophrenia Foulds J, Williams J. In a letter to the editor of the American Journal of Psychiatry, the authors raised concern that a recent paper on the physical health monitoring of patients with schizophrenia summarized earlier (click here to see that review) ignored the importance of tobacco smoking in their review process. They were surprised that no recommendations were made for monitoring and intervening on tobacco smoking despite the fact that most of the excess mortality or deaths in schizophrenia can be directly attributed to cigarette smoking. They also raise the issue of Read More...
Posted by Farzin at 03:22 AM | Comments (0)

Ways to encourage recovery

An empirical conceptualization of the recovery orientation. Resnick SG, Fontana A, Lehman AF, Rosenheck RA Northeast Program Evaluation Center, Yale University School of Medicine, VA Maryland Healthcare System and University of Maryland School of Medicine In the scientific literature, “recovery” is described as “process representing the belief that all individuals, even those with severe psychiatric disabilities, can develop hope for the future, participate in meaningful activities, exercise self-determination, and live in a society without stigma and discrimination”. Helping people with schizophrenia move towards this recovery orientation is an important part of grass-roots movements and mental healthy advocacy by groups including Read More...
Posted by Farzin at 02:51 AM | Comments (5)

Public anti-stigma efforts don't work

Related to the earlier news story on stigma, a news story from a few years back reported that research suggested that anti-stigma campaigns for schizophrenia targeted at the public don't work (echoing the statements of E. Fuller Torrey, DJ Jaffe, and others that the real anti-stigma effort should be focused on getting all people who have schizophrenia successfully treated so that there are fewer incidences of violence that are so widely covered in the news, to the detriment of the approximately 99% of people with schizophrenia who aren't violent). See Excerpt below: "Schizophrenia anti-stigma campaigns aimed at the general public Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 12:51 AM | Comments (2)

May 05, 2005

Stigma: Prevalence and prevention

Two research sources this week released information concerning stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness. A PRNewswire press release entitled "Mental Illness Stigmas Are Receding, But Misconceptions Remain", reported that 90% of Americans surveyed feel that people with mental illness can lead healthy lives, and the vast majority also felt that current psychiatric treatment works, and that visitng a psychiatrist is a sign of strength. However, despite these encouraging statistics, 1 in 5 adults still stated that they personally would never see a psychiatrist "under any circumstances." Additionally, although 75% believed (correctly) that mental illness is caused by a chemical imbalance Read More...
Posted by Julia at 02:00 PM | Comments (0)

May 04, 2005

Medicaid Cuts to Hurt Mentally Ill

We learned yesterday in testimony by Dr. Insel (head of the US National Institute of Mental Health) that: People with serious mental illness represent the single largest group -- diagnostic group -- of those receiving SSI, (social security). It's also true that unlike the rest of medicine, that most of the costs here for both direct and indirect care are in the public sector. That means that more than 50 percent of all mental health expenditures are paid for by Medicaid / Medicare and state and local governments. Again, quite different from the rest of medicine, where we're often dealing Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 06:35 PM | Comments (0)

Beware the Army Recruiter

The New York Times reported today that Army recruiters are bending the rules significantly in an attempt to meet recruitment goals: "It was late September when the 21-year-old man, fresh from a three-week commitment in a psychiatric ward, showed up at an Army recruiting station in southern Ohio. The two recruiters there wasted no time signing him up, and even after the man's parents told them he had bipolar disorder - a diagnosis that would disqualify him - he was all set to be shipped to boot camp, and perhaps Iraq after that, before senior officers found out and canceled Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 03:10 AM | Comments (0)

May 03, 2005

Dr. Insel Substance Abuse Meeting

Following is a short excerpt (from a very long transcript) of a US Representatives meeting on Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services that seems to have taken place on April 27th, 2005 in Washington, DC. The brief quotes immediately below are by Dr. Insel, head of the National Institue of Mental Health: Dr. INSEL: Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman.    I'm happy to be here on behalf of the National Institute of Mental Health, and delighted that you and your leadership have asked for a hearing, specifically on this very important area of health care. ... Maybe just -- to speed Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 09:55 PM | Comments (0)

Lilly "Reintegration Awards"

Just in today from the Eli Lilly Marketing Department: Eli Lilly and Company Opens Nominations for 9th Annual Reintegration Awards; Reintegration Awards Recognize Professional and Individual Achievements in Mental Health Community Press Release/ Marketing Release from Eli Lilly INDIANAPOLIS, May 3 -- Eli Lilly and Company announced today a call for entries for its Reintegration Awards. The annual awards honor individuals and groups who support people living with severe mental illness; the achievements of people living with severe mental illness who offer hope to others facing similar challenges; and local and national efforts to improve services and decrease the stigma Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 09:10 PM | Comments (2)

Marijuana, Schizophrenia and the White House

Better late than never I suppose - today the White House finally caught up with the scientific research that has accumulated during the past decade that links marijuana to schizophrenia incidence . Of course, given the rebelious nature of teen agers - White House support of any anti-drug programs probably only raises the skepticism levels amoung the portion of the US student population that is more likely to use Marijuana / Pot / Cannabis - so unless money flows into true educational programs (and not just quick press releases and short-term marketing programs that make it look like the government Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 08:51 PM | Comments (0)

Infant Mental Health Program

York University - a top Canadian university - has announced an extended certificate program in "Infant Mental Health" working in concert with the "Sick Kids Hospital". This seems like a good step forward in early identifcation of brain disorders which should result in earlier treatment and better outcomes. Too bad the course isn't available over the Internet - I'm sure a lot of people would be interested in participating. This Program is designed to provide front-line service providers with essential knowledge and practical skills to encourage positive parent-infant interactions and promote optimal developmental progress in infants. The Program is directed Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 07:48 PM | Comments (0)

Canada Homelessness Conference

There is a Canadian Homelessness Conference on May 17 to 20th, that looks interesting. Unfortunately, its already fully booked - but people who are interested may be able to get copies of the proceedings and recordings (CDs) of the presentations. The conference home page says: The Canadian Conference on Homelessness is a national, cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary forum for sharing and collaboration in order to explore the links between research and action, and to move towards effective long-term solutions in homelessness issues. The conference is meant to be inclusive, integrating the experiences and perspectives of all stakeholders and sectors, including researchers, Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 07:42 PM | Comments (3)

Gene Therapy for the Brain

Read more... Schizophrenia Biology
Gene Therapy Slows Alzheimer's Cognitive Decline In a development that highlights the potential to mitigate brain diseases (such as Schizophrenia) via gene therapy, The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) announced today that Alzheimer's Cognitive Decline Slowed In Gene Therapy Patients. PET scans and cognitive tests have suggested that Alzheimer's disease patients with genetically modified tissue inserted directly into their brains show a reduction in the rate of cognitive decline and increased metabolic activity in the brain, according to a study published in the April 24, 2005 online issue of the journal Nature Medicine by researchers at the University of Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 06:07 PM | Comments (1)

Treating Mental Illness Cuts Costs

An editorial in the Virginia Roanoke Times acknowledged the efforts of those who participated in a weekend fundraiser for community mental health programs, and made the important but oft-overlooked point that the best way to economize mental health is to treat it. For example, the article notes that emergency room use by uninsured people with mental health crises is costing the region about $1 million per year. This is not even considering the indirect costs accrued from loss in productivity, increased burden on public health and criminal services, increased unemployment rolls, and crowding of jails by people with untreated mental Read More...
Posted by Julia at 01:54 AM | Comments (6)

May 02, 2005

Joseph Rogers Success Story

Joseph Rogers, Mental Health Advocate, Wins $250,000 Heinz Award An advocate for user-designed mental health programs whose personal experiences and frustrations with the mental health care system helped propel the field’s “consumer” movement, Joseph Rogers has provided impassioned, visionary leadership in transforming mental health care in this country. Diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia at age 19 and told that he was incapable of holding a job, Mr. Rogers descended into a life of homelessness and desolation until he eventually found treatment and a place to stay at a YMCA in New Jersey. After fate led him to a job as an Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 11:16 PM | Comments (1)

May 01, 2005

Recent Cochrane Reviews

Recent Cochrane Reviews With Schizophrenia Content Cochrane reviews are considered by many to be the gold standard in systematic literature reviews. The reviews are done rigorously and include all sources on a particular subject with strict criteria for which studies can be considered “good” evidence versus “weak” evidence. Studies sponsored by pharmaceutical companies are considered in the context of their sponsorship for example. By applying rules to their inclusion of particular studies, they are able to group the remaining studies and come up with solid recommendations for evidence based medicine. 1. ECT and schizophrenia – ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) is typically Read More...
Posted by Jacob at 10:42 PM | Comments (0)

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