July 31, 2005

Hope for recovery

Do Patients with Schizophrenia Ever Show Periods of Recovery? A 15-Year Multi-Follow-up Study Harrow M, Grossman LS, Jobe TH, Herbener ES. In this study, the researchers did a 15 year prospective (future-based) long term study where they followed people with schizophrenia and those with other types of psychotic and non-psychotic illnesses over a long time period. This was based on the Chicago Followup Study. They used a good sized sample of 274 patients from private and public hospitals who were studied prospectively at hospitalization and then followed up multiple times over a 15-year period. They included 64 people with schizophrenia, Read More...
Posted by Farzin at 07:29 PM | Comments (1)

Risperidone Liquid for Acute Phase

Risperidone liquid was shown to be both safe and effective for treating patients with schizophrenia during an acute phase. 88 patients were administered Risperidone liquid, 14 of which also took Lorazepem. They were evaluated by looking at their clinical improvements as well as their side effects. "Plasma concentrations of HVA and MHPG "were analyzed by HPLC-ECD before and 4 weeks after risperidone liquid administration," the scientists wrote in the Human Psychopharmacology - Clinical and Experimental. 'Patients showing a 50% or greater improvement in PANSS scores were defined as responders. An improvement in the PANSS scores related to excitement, hostility and Read More...
Posted by christine at 02:41 PM | Comments (1)

Estradiol Doesn't Prevent Relapse

It has been hypothesized in the past that estrogen protects women from psychotic symptoms due to the fact that many women with such symptoms often have lower levels of estrogen. Estradiol is a hormone replacement of estrogen and has been used as adjunct treatment to prevent schizophrenia relapse, concurrently using antipsychotics. A new study shows that estradiol may not be effective in preventing relapse. "Investigators in Germany tested under real-life conditions the expected therapeutic effect of estrogen as an adjunct treatment to antipsychotics for relapse prevention in women suffering from schizophrenia. They carried out a multicenter, randomized, placebo controlled, double-blind, Read More...
Posted by christine at 01:57 PM | Comments (0)

Nutritional Intervention Prevents Antipsychotic Weight Gain

It is well known that antipsychotics can sometimes cause one to gain weight, but how to keep that from happening is what should be studied to a greater degree. A new study has come out studying the effects of a nutritional intervention on those taking the antipsychotic olanzapine. "'Olanzapine is the most commonly prescribed atypical antipsychotic medication in Australia. Research reports an average weight gain of between 4.5 and 7 kg [between 9.9lbs. and 15.4lbs.] in the 3 months following its commencement. Trying to minimize this weight gain in a population with an already high prevalence of obesity, mortality, and Read More...
Posted by christine at 01:02 PM | Comments (1)

July 30, 2005

Essex Promotes Mental Health Awareness

(I-Newswire) - Essex businesses and support groups are uniting in support of the campaign aimed at combating misconceptions of a wide range of mental illnesses and schizophrenia. "This campaign is a great opportunity to reach out to the many thousands of people affected by mental health problems in Essex. With fantastic support from Janssen-Cilag Ltd and local support networks, we are committed to changing public perception of mental illness and improving the lives of all those affected by any mental health problems from stress to schizophrenia," said Dr Patrick Geoghegan, Chief Executive of South Essex Partnership NHS Trust. Although serious Read More...
Posted by christine at 02:51 PM | Comments (1)

Interview: National Coalition For the Homeless

Michael Stoops is the acting executive director of the Washington D.C. based National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH). He held an online discussion on July 26th to discuss homelessness in Washington D.C. as well as the progress of the NCH. One of the first questions asked about mental illness was how many homeless people have a mental illness? By going to a homeless shelter do they get help for their disorder or just a place to sleep? In response Stoops stated that about 30% of the homeless are mentally ill and half of all shelters give food and shelter while Read More...
Posted by christine at 02:25 PM | Comments (3)

Revolution in Psychiatric Treatment

Genomics or "the study of all of the nucleotide sequences, including structural genes, regulatory sequences, and noncoding DNA segments, in the chromosomes of an organism" (dictionary.com), is what will lead us to the next revolution in psychiatric treatment. Eventually the hope is that we will be able to individualize medicine so that the drugs one takes is specific to their genetic makeup. The Human Genome Project gave us the information for the 3 billion base-pairs of DNA, but now we need to know how they each affect the brain. "For instance, merely knowing the location of genes, as was achieved Read More...
Posted by christine at 01:16 PM | Comments (1)

July 29, 2005

Mental Health Reforms

This bit of news is from last month, but we just were informed about it by one of the parents on our discussion board (thanks Doe). Landmark Roadmap for Mental Health Reform Released July 27, 2005 The Campaign for Mental Health Reform, a partnership of 16 national mental health organizations, including NAMI, released an important report today recommending a series of actions that Congress and the Administration can take to improve services for people with mental illnesses. The report, entitled "Emergency Response: A Roadmap for Federal Action on America's Mental Health Crisis," describes the negative consequences, including criminalization, homelessness and Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 12:50 PM | Comments (0)

July 28, 2005

The Media and Health Information

As a web site that reports on the topic of health (specifically, schizophrenia) we try to provide as accurate and complete a picture of the research, commercial news that is relevant to this area. With over 10,000 pages of information on this web site we think we're covering the topic at a reasonable level of depth. Increasingly, however, the US media is coming under fire for being a generally poor provider of health information. In a new article on the Public Library of Science (Medicine) points out some particular flaws in medical reporting: "Surveys consistently show that Americans get most Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 10:38 PM | Comments (0)

The Genetics of Schizophrenia

The Public Library of Science (Medicine) has a good article this month on genetics of schizophrenia. (Note: this is an academic journal - so it may be too scientific for some readers - the summary, however is readable by most people, see below. In the article it states: "Research into the etiology (cause) of schizophrenia has never been as interesting or as provocative as in the past three years. There has been progress on several fronts, but particularly regarding the molecular genetics of this complex disorder of mind and brain. At the same time, a number of critically important and Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 10:18 PM | Comments (6)

Global Fight against the Stigma of Schizophrenia

The Public Library of Science (Medicine) has a good article this month on the global fight against stigma of schizophrenia. In the article it states: "The stigma attached to mental illness is the greatest obstacle to the improvement of the lives of people with mental illness and their families [1]. Such stigma results in (1) a lower priority for mental health services, (2) difficulty getting staff of good quality to work in these services, (3) continuing problems in finding employment and housing for people who have had an episode of mental disorder, (4) the social isolation of people who suffer Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 10:15 PM | Comments (1)

Potential New Drug Development Strategy

Duke University reported today on a Discovery of new dopamine action may yield alternative psychiatric drugs (such as those used for Schizophrenia). Durham, N.C. – Duke University Medical Center researchers have discovered a new mechanism by which chronically high levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine exert their effects on the brain. Normally associated with triggering feelings of pleasure, excess concentrations of dopamine underlie schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and other psychiatric conditions. The findings therefore provide new research avenues to understand and potentially manage such dopamine-related human disorders, the researchers said. "We've thought that neurotransmitters relay messages to the brain in Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 05:06 PM | Comments (1)

July 27, 2005

CATIE Study - New Schizophrenia Treatment Standards Coming

In the coming months the results of a recently-completed study funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) will be published. The study is called CATIE, "The Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness project" and is comprised of four trials that look at 1)serious depression 2)bipolar disorder 3)schizophrenia 4)adolescent depression. In the schizophrenia-focused CATIE study, the research compared eight antipsychotic drugs against each other to determine their comparative effectiveness and safety. Approximately 1,600 patients were enrolled in the study, and the participant's reactions to the drugs were tracked for an 18 month period. In the first stage of the Read More...
Posted by christine at 02:41 PM | Comments (0)

A Call to Ribbons and Bracelets

A Call to Ribbons and Bracelets An editorial by Marvin Ross This is a call to ribbons and bracelets. As far as I can tell, no mental health advocacy group has begun a consciousness raising awareness campaign using colors and high profile spokespeople to help reduce the stigma of serious mental illness – until now. St. Joseph's Healthcare in Hamilton Ontario (Canada) recently launched its "dignity and hope wristband" campaign with members of the highly popular Hamilton Tiger Cats of the professional Canadian Football League (owned by Bob Young of Red Hat/Linux fame). Orange wristbands with "educate", "courage", "dignity" and Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 02:30 PM | Comments (19)

Suicide Leading Cause of Death in Schizophrenia

In a report coming out of "Schizophrenia Ireland", the statistics of the population with schizophrenia who take their own lives is being brought into the forefront. Apparently, about 60 percent of people with schizophrenia attempt to commit suicide, and about 10 percent of them actually die by suicide. Schizophrenia Ireland wants to highlight this "at-risk" community so that others are more likely to get out and receive the help that they need when they are feeling hopeless. "The document includes an outline by Anne Callanan of the historical context of suicide prevention in Ireland, a paper on suicide and schizophrenia Read More...
Posted by christine at 01:33 PM | Comments (0)

Protein Gives Clues for Schizophrenia

A protein has been discovered that may give clues as to the basis of schizophrenia and multiple sclerosis. "The team of scientists from the Department of Anatomy at the Yong Loon Lin School of Medicine at the NUS said that the protein controls the development of specialised brain cells which, in turn, provide insulation to the nerve signalling network. If these brain cells develop abnormally, the shield that protects nerve fibres can dysfunction or get destroyed. And once this shield is no longer protecting the fibres, nerve pathways are affected and neurological disorders occur" (Ramani, 2005). Signals that come from Read More...
Posted by christine at 12:52 PM | Comments (1)

July 26, 2005

Florida Sues for Medicaid Fraud

Florida is attempting to keep control of its medications costs with a lawsuit aimed at three pharmaceuticals companies that the Florida government says overcharged the goverment. "The Florida attorney general has filed a civil complaint against three of the industry's largest generic drugmakers, accusing the firms of defrauding the state's Medicaid program of $25 million. Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist contends the drug manufacturers -- Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Teva Pharmaceutical and Watson Pharmaceuticals -- wrongfully inflated prices in a way that enabled pharmacies to receive excessive reimbursement for filling prescriptions for Medicaid patients who bought generic drugs for depression, schizophrenia, seizures, Read More...
Posted by christine at 02:13 PM | Comments (2)

$8 Million For Schizophrenia Research

(I-Newswire) - The Board of the Neuroscience Institute of Schizophrenia and Allied Disorders ( NISAD ) awarded the Chair to the joint bid, one of six high quality submissions from (Australia's) New South Wales' major universities and Institutes. Executive Director, NISAD Deborah Willcox, said: "This is a significant milestone for NISAD, UNSW, POWMRI and most importantly, for sufferers of schizophrenia and their families." "The Professorial Chair will drive the research effort of some of the world's leading experts in schizophrenia, based here in NSW and overseas. It is the beginning of a very exciting chapter in NISAD's effort to find Read More...
Posted by christine at 01:04 PM | Comments (0)

July 23, 2005

De-institutionalization has Failed, Jails the result

A good article in "The Australian" highlights a problem that is prevalent in most "western" countries that have followed the US lead in de-institutionalization. Calls to get mentally ill out of jails From: By Simon Kearney and Adam Cresswell July 16, 2005 LEADING psychiatrists have admitted that a 20-year policy of treating mental patients in the community has failed. The psychiatrists are demanding a radical review of mental healthcare, claiming prisons have replaced asylums as holding centres for the mentally ill. Those calling for a new approach include many of the architects of the current policy of deinstutionalisation, which led Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 08:52 PM | Comments (2)

Isolated Hallucinations

Isolated hallucinations are not as out of the ordinary as we have prior believed. It seems that many people hallucinate at some point, but do not have any psychotic symptoms after that isolated hallucination. An example of this is the story of one little boy, "As an eight-year-old growing up in wartime Croatia, world-renowned psychiatrist Norman Sartorius lay by the side of an enemy-infested road with his mother, waiting for a safe time to cross. He recalls seeing a funeral cortege drawn by white horses, having no doubt it was real, but no one else could see it. The eminent Read More...
Posted by christine at 02:13 PM | Comments (2)

Cocaine Gives Clue to Schizophrenia Behavior

Researchers working with rats have zeroed in on the brain circuitry mechanism whose disruption contributes to the impulsive behavior seen in users of cocaine as well as other psychostimulant drugs. The same circuitry has been implicated in such disorders as schizophrenia, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder, wrote the researchers. Yukiori Goto and Anthony A. Grace of the University of Pittsburgh described their findings in the July 21, 2005, issue of Neuron. In their studies, they sought to understand the effects of cocaine sensitization on the connections between two higher brain regions--the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus--and the nucleus accumbens, which Read More...
Posted by christine at 12:39 PM | Comments (0)

July 22, 2005

Family Intervention in Schizophrenia

Family intervention programs affect patients suffering from schizophrenia to varying degrees depending on several factors. Researchers in Spain used a controlled trial to better understand this phenomenon. "Participants 'were assigned at random to either a Behavioral Family Intervention Group or a Relatives' Group,' they wrote in the journal Psychiatry Research. 'Patients in one catchment area, having suffered one psychotic relapse within the previous year and living with their families, were assessed by an independent evaluator at baseline and 12 months later.' Taken together, the results of these assessments indicated that 'some clinical and family factors such as the duration of Read More...
Posted by christine at 01:30 PM | Comments (0)

Pigeons vs. People? by EF Torrey

PIGEONS VS. PEOPLE Op-ed By E. Fuller Torrey On June 24, Congressman Randy Neugebauer successfully attached an amendment to the 2006 appropriations bill for the National Institute of Mental Health. The amendment, which passed the House by voice vote, prohibits the use of federal funds for two NIMH research studies. One study, which has cost more than $1.5 million over 15 years, examines how pigeons classify objects into categories. The other, which has cost $750,000 over five years, assesses the effect of self-esteem of newlyweds on their marriage. As Rep. Neugebauer made clear, he is not opposing these studies because Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 01:07 PM | Comments (0)

Antipsychotic Treatment Adherence Overestimated

A study has come out claiming that the amount of schizophrenia patients who adhere to antipsychotic treatment is greatly overestimated. Researchers determined this with the use of electronic monitoring devices as well as by clinician rating. "'Antipsychotic adherence was determined monthly over 3 consecutive months with the Medication Event Monitoring System (MEMS) cap and the Clinician Rating Scale," explained M. Byerly and coauthors at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. 'Non-adherence was defined as daily adherence of This study exemplifies the fact that patients suffering from schizophrenia often do not follow the treatment guidelines outlined by their doctors. This Read More...
Posted by christine at 12:42 PM | Comments (0)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Limited

A new study suggests that cognitive behavioral therapy may not be as effective as hoped when treating schizophrenia. It has been argued that such therapy was effective for treating the refractory positive symptoms of schizophrenia. "'Manualized therapy was compared with supportive counseling' in terms of their ability to manage positive symptoms, the scientists said. 'Both interventions were delivered by experienced psychologists over 16 sessions of treatment,' and 'therapy fidelity was assessed by two independent raters.' 'Participants underwent masked assessment at baseline, after treatment and at 6 months' follow-up," according to the report. The 'main outcome measures were the Positive and Read More...
Posted by christine at 12:05 PM | Comments (3)

Quality Check Improves Hospital Care

Read more... Schizophrenia Coping
Two studies in this month's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine indicate that quality-checkiing hospitals motivates them to improve their care. Although these particular studies evaluated hospitals on how they routinely handled a few certain medical conditions (heart attack, congestive heart failure, and pneumonia treatment), the general conclusion that quality-checks can lead to improvements in care has implications for people searching for a good psychiatric hospital facility. JCAHO (Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations) is a national hospital-accrediting body for the United States. According to information from "Surviving Schizophrenia" by Dr. E Fuller Torrey (see pp. 180-188): Read More...
Posted by Julia at 08:29 AM | Comments (0)

July 21, 2005

Voice Award Ceremony Honors Writers & Producers

WASHINGTON, July 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The writers and producers of "The Aviator," "ER," "Monk" and "Scrubs" were honored for their positive portrayals of people with mental health problems at the Voice Awards last night. In addition, actors Brooke Shields and Maurice Benard and Spanish language television network Univision were honored by the federal government for their activities on behalf of mental health awareness, and writer/producer Neal Baer received a special Career Achievement Award at the gala awards ceremony hosted by Mariette Hartley and Kathleen Sullivan. Sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a part of the Read More...
Posted by christine at 03:02 PM | Comments (0)

Top SZ Researcher Interview on NPR

Dr. Daniel Weinberger, current director of the NIMH intramural Genes, Cognition and Psychosis Program , is the guest tomorrow (7/22/05) on the "Diane Rehm Show" (NPR program). He will discuss recent findings of how a common gene variant might help most people manage stress by strengthening key connections in an area of the brain that regulates negative emotion. This finding could be relevant for people with all kinds of psychiatric diagnoses, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Dr. Weinberger has established himself as one of the nation's top schizophrenia researchers. He is #2 on ESI-topic's list of 25 top authors for Read More...
Posted by Julia at 01:00 PM | Comments (0)

Gene linked to Schizophrenia

A gene that has been implicated in the past as a factor in schizophrenia, has in new research been linked again to both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. "Variations in the neuregulin (NRG) 1 gene play a role in not only in the development of schizophrenia but also bipolar disorder, possibly affecting a functional psychosis that has features of both conditions, say UK researchers. It has traditionally been assumed that schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are separate diseases and have separate underlying etiologies, following the so-called kraepelinian divide. However, evidence from family and twin studies has suggested that, in addition to genes Read More...
Posted by christine at 12:52 PM | Comments (0)

July 20, 2005

Charitable Organization Continues to Fight for Mentally Ill

The Fountain House Lahore (in Pakistan) is a charitable institution that provides help to rehabilitation efforts of those suffering from schizophrenia. Their week long celebration is coming to an end with some important messages to send out. One in four Pakistanis has a mental health problem sometime within their life. "They said mental illness was not caused by a personal weakness rather it could affect anyone. Although, people with mental illness could play a big part in their own recovery, but they did not choose to become ill, and they were not lazy because they could not just 'snap out Read More...
Posted by christine at 02:04 PM | Comments (0)

Schizophrenia Hotline Popular

A schizophrenia hotline (a telephone number where people can get their questions related to schizophrenia answered) in Germany has been operating since 2001. Those who have questions regarding schizophrenia can call the hotline and ask whatever questions they may have relating to the disorder. The German Research Network on Schizophrenia (GRNS) have been maintaining the telephone line and have found that there are an increasing number of people who call the hotline. "The hotline is manned by clinical experts, psychiatrists, or psychologists once a week. The telephone calls are documented in a systematic manner. From 2001 to 2003, 3,909 calls Read More...
Posted by christine at 01:28 PM | Comments (3)

Radio Program on Schizophrenia

The public radio program "Speaking of Faith" is currently broadcasting a program called "Room for J: One Family's Struggle with Schizophrenia." J's diagnosis of schizophrenia causes him to believe that he is God. The program host speaks with J's parents and brother, shares excerpts from J's writing, and speaks with other experts about schizophrenia as a biologically-based brain disease. Delusions are a common positive symptom of schizophrenia, and they can often become intensely religious in nature. Tune into the program live from July 15-20, 2005 on your local radio station , or listen to a streaming audio file online from Read More...
Posted by Julia at 08:34 AM | Comments (0)

July 19, 2005

OT and VP Studied For Drug Uses

OT stands for the pituitary hormone oxytocin and VP stands for the pituitary hormone vasopressin. (I-Newswire) - Over the past few years, neuroscientists have begun reporting evidence solidifying the possible roles of OT and VP in social behavior, both normal (bonding, romance) and pathological (autism, aggression). In a recent human study, Swiss and American scientists have also reported that intranasal spray containing the hormone oxytocin increases trust between humans by reducing the anxiety of risks that arise through interpersonal interactions. Robert Ring, a researcher with the Wyeth Discovery Neuroscience group, said that perhaps the time is right for drugmakers to Read More...
Posted by christine at 01:34 PM | Comments (0)

Medicare Waiting Period

(I-Newswire) - "At a time when Congress is considering major reforms to Medicare they should not forget some of the most vulnerable of all potential beneficiaries--seriously disabled adults who are unable to work," said Karen Davis, president of The Commonwealth Fund. "Individuals in the waiting period for Medicare suffer from a broad range of debilitating diseases and are in urgent need of appropriate medical care to manage their conditions. Eliminating the two-year wait would ensure access to care for those already on the way to Medicare." Currently, 1.26 million seriously disabled Americans are in the waiting period for Medicare coverage, Read More...
Posted by christine at 01:09 PM | Comments (0)

July 18, 2005

Brain Function Improves with Cognitive Rehabilitation

(I-Newswire) - Memory study shows brain function in schizophrenia can improve with support, holds promise for cognitive rehabilitation For decades, schizophrenia treatment has relied on powerful drugs to control the disease's most debilitating symptoms -- hallucinations, delusions and paranoia - often ignoring seemingly less ominous problems associated with learning, memory, attention and other cognitive functions that are so basic to everyday life. Now, as part of a new wave of research aimed at helping people with schizophrenia lead fuller, more normal lives, a study at Washington University in St. Louis has demonstrated that people with schizophrenia can be helped to Read More...
Posted by christine at 02:31 PM | Comments (0)

Assessment of Antipsychotic Weight Gain

The effect that antipsychotics can have on one's weight are well known, but researchers studied this further recently with the use of mice. "'Weight gain is a prominent effect of most atypical antipsychotic drugs (AAPDs); yet, the mechanisms are not fully understood and no well-established mouse models exist for investigating the mechanisms. Thus, we developed a mouse model to evaluate the effects of AAPDs on eating, body weight (BW), and body composition. Female C57BL/6J mice were used to test olanzapine, quetiapine, ziprasidone, and risperidone. Mice were acclimated to individual housing, given ad libitum access to chow and water, dosed with Read More...
Posted by christine at 02:16 PM | Comments (1)

Brain Scans Predict Mental Illness in Kids with VCFS

Newswise - Pictures of the brain may hold clues as to why children diagnosed with a genetic disorder may also be at high risk for developing mental illness. Velo-Cardio-Facial Syndrome (VCFS), also known as Shprintzen Syndrome, is a genetic disorder linked to the deletion of small piece of chromosome 22 that causes can cause cleft palate, heart defects, and abnormal facial appearance and learning problems. VCFS is believed to be the second most common genetic syndrome in humans has a population prevalence of approximately 1 per 2,000. Recent studies have found that nearly one in four of all children diagnosed Read More...
Posted by christine at 01:13 PM | Comments (1)

July 17, 2005

OCD & Schizophrenia Overlap

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and schizophrenia have a good amount of things in common. "Although OCD and schizophrenia are distinct diagnostic entities, there is considerable overlap between the two disorders in terms of clinical characteristics, brain areas that are affected and pharmacotherapy" (Price, 2005). Those who have OCD are not more likely to develop schizophrenia, but those with schizophrenia are more likely to develop OCD. Around 8% to 46% of patients with schizophrenia also have OCD, whereas the general population has a 1.2% to 2.4% percentage that develops OCD. Yet the relationship between these two disorders is not fully understood Read More...
Posted by christine at 02:38 PM | Comments (1)

July 15, 2005

Football Star Charity to Benefit Community

Most people who know the name Lionel Aldridge probably know his outstanding football record. During his tenure as a starting defense end for the Green Bay Packers, he helped lead the team to three straight NFL championships, and two Super Bowls. He was named All-Pro in 1964, and was inducted into the Packer Hall of Fame in 1988. Many may not know that Lionel Aldridge also suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. As a result, this NFL champion, NBC sports analyst, and family man spent two years homeless on the Milwaukee streets, and 10 years battling with hallucinations, paranoia, and the other Read More...
Posted by Julia at 10:45 AM | Comments (2)

July 14, 2005

Identifying Metabolic Syndrome

Those taking antipsychotic medication have a heightened risk of developing metabolic syndrome's that can increase their chance of having a cardiovascular disease. As Reuters health states on Medscape.com, "While individual components of the syndrome such as dyslipidemia and hyperglycemia are known to be associated with the drugs, Dr. David Straker of Columbia University Medical Center and colleagues write, its prevalence in these patients is not clear. Also, the researchers note in the June issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry, patients taking second-generation antipsychotics are not routinely screened for the syndrome." Dyslipidemia is a condition in which you have abnormal Read More...
Posted by christine at 02:33 PM | Comments (0)

Group Homes Regulate Time Out

Cindy Crippen is 41 years old and suffers from schizophrenia, she lives at a group home in Idaho; or at least she used to. Crippen went home to visit her family for 72 days and upon her return she discovered that she had been discharged from the hospital. Under a new county-wide policy group homes can not hold a bed for a patient unless the group home is willing to pay the tab. Crippen was not notified before or after her discharge, she did not find out until she returned to the group home. As Shors (2005) states, "Kasey Kramer, Read More...
Posted by christine at 01:50 PM | Comments (28)

Keeping Homeless Out of Heat

Many officials in Ottawa, Canada are attempting to keep the homeless out of the heat due to the fact that a large percentage of them suffer from various mental disorders. Unfortunately officials can not force the homeless to drink water, take their medication, or avoid the heat, but they are doing the best they can. "The Mission has even been showing movies in the afternoon to lure street people indoors. Experts say the heat can compound the sedative effects of anti-depressant, anti-psychotic and anti-Parkinson's drugs taken for schizophrenia and other severe mental illness. And heat can compound the dehydrating effects Read More...
Posted by christine at 01:07 PM | Comments (0)

July 13, 2005

Educational Program on Schizophrenia

This press release announces an educational program on reducing relapse for those suffering from schizophrenia. It is a free broadcast, but requires registration. CME Outfitters, LLC, announces an upcoming live and interactive CE activity titled "Reducing Relapse: Case-Based Strategies for Achieving Successful Long-Term Outcomes in Patients with Schizophrenia." Offered as a live satellite broadcast, webcast, and telephone audioconference premiering Wednesday, August 10, 2005, from 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. ET, the activity will focus on providing case- and evidence-based educational information regarding the neurochemical basis of relapse in schizophrenia and offering novel strategies for reducing and preventing relapse. Rockville, MD (PRWEB) July Read More...
Posted by christine at 02:29 PM | Comments (1)

Housing Project in Alberta

A new housing project is being developed in central Alberta, Canada. The Schizophrenia Society of Alberta is buying a building in Red Deer to provide affordable housing to 12 people with schizophrenia and other chronic mental illnesses. This seems like a model that other advocacy groups might pursue also - given that the issue of affordable housing is one of the most difficult challenges that people with schizophrenia face in North America. "Tenants will be able to live in eight existing suites in the building, while the Schizophrenia Society will occupy a commercial space. Tenants will be able to stay Read More...
Posted by christine at 01:54 PM | Comments (0)

Brain Functioning in Human Behavior

Read more... Schizophrenia Biology
A press release that came from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) gives new clues on brain functioning's role in human behavior. Researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health, have discovered a genetically controlled brain mechanism responsible for social behavior in humans - one of the most important but least understood aspects of human nature. The findings are reported in Nature Neuroscience, published online on July 10, 2005. The study compared the brains of healthy volunteers to those with a genetic abnormality, Williams Syndrome, a rare disorder that causes unique Read More...
Posted by christine at 01:06 PM | Comments (0)

International Access to Meds

It seems that there are a number of battles (in Florida, and more recently, in California) over prescription drug benefits for the poor in the U.S., and similar issues are facing people with brain diseases all over the world. We received a notification from an advocate in India (a doctor, and a vocal mental illness advocate) regarding potential patents of psychiatric drugs in India. In her fight to prevent such patents from passing, which would raise the prices of second-generation antipsychotics for patients in India who cannot otherwise afford them, she referred to the World Health Organization Essential Drug List Read More...
Posted by Julia at 08:06 AM | Comments (0)

July 12, 2005

Stanford Schizophrenia Education Day - July 30th

NOTE: Stanford has just changed the venue for this upcoming event. It is now at the Fairchild Auditorium - details below. Stanford University (California) is hosting a schizophrenia (and bipolar) education day at the end of July. This is something that every university focused on schizophrenia should do every year for its local community. Its great to see Stanford starting this annual event. 1st Annual - Schizophrenia and Bipolar Education Day When: Saturday, July 30th, 2005, 8 am to noon Where: Sherman Fairchild Auditorium Stanford University School of Medicine 291 Campus Drive, Stanford University CLICK ON LINK BELOW FOR MAP Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 06:59 PM | Comments (1)

Musical Hallucinations

Reginald King underwent bypass surgery seven years ago and found that he was experiencing something quite odd while recovering in the hospital. King kept hearing different songs that he had heard in his lifetime, but no one else was hearing them. King is 83 and is experiencing something called musical hallucinations. King was referred to a psychiatrist last year named Dr. Aziz who explained to him that he was experiencing musical hallucinations, something more common than people think. As Zimmer (2005) states, "Dr. Aziz belongs to a small circle of psychiatrists and neurologists who are investigating this condition. They suspect Read More...
Posted by christine at 02:43 PM | Comments (7)

Vitamin D Important to Health

New research has shown a link between inadequate amounts of vitamin D and such diseases as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia and many forms of cancer. As Thompson (2005) states "The report, Sunlight Robbery, published in the Medical Journal of Australia, has been greeted with caution by dermatologists and cancer societies whose main message is minimize your exposure to sun by wearing appropriate clothing and using a sunscreen with a protection factor of 15 or higher. 'A balance is required between avoiding an increase in the risk of skin cancer and achieving enough ultraviolet radiation exposure to achieve adequate vitamin D Read More...
Posted by christine at 01:18 PM | Comments (0)

Canada Schizophrenia Society Golf Fundraiser

This seems like it might be a good idea for a fund raiser for schizophrenia advocacy organizations: 4th Annual BC Schizophrenia Society Golf Classic The British Columbia Schizophrenia Society (BCSS) is very pleased to invite you to join us for an outstanding day of golf and great company! Tournament information Date: Wednesday, August 10, 2005 Location: Westwood Plateau Golf & Country Club, 3251 Plateau Blvd., Coquitlam, B.C. Time: Registration 10 a.m. / Shotgun start: 12 noon Format: Texas Scramble Price: $300 per player / Dinner only $75 per person Included in your registration is the following: An amazing day of Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 10:33 AM | Comments (0)

Why Imaginary Voices are Male

Read more... Schizophrenia Biology
The BBC News reported today on the auditory verbal hallucinations that people with schizophrenia very commonly experience. Specifically, they reported that these "voices" (as they are commonly referred to) are typically male, and that: A university research team says it has discovered why most people "hearing voices" in hallucinations say they hear male voices. Dr Michael Hunter's research at the University of Sheffield says that male voices are less complex to produce than female. As such, when the brain spontaneously produces its own "voices", a male voice is more likely to have been generated. Among both men and women, 71% Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 10:24 AM | Comments (4)

July 11, 2005

Birth Complications & Child-onset Schizophrenia

Birth Complications don't lead to Child-onset Schizophrenia (but may lead to later-onset schizophrenia) Schizophrenia is known for having a plethora of potential causes which makes its origin difficult to pinpoint. One of the links that has been established is the link between schizophrenia and birth complications. "Postnatal obstetric complications" are known for being more frequent in those with early-onset schizophrenia and to those with more severe cases of schizophrenia. Early onset schizophrenia is generally defined as before age 18 or 22. Researchers decided to look at whether there was a similar link to those with childhood-onset schizophrenia. Surprisingly there was Read More...
Posted by christine at 01:05 PM | Comments (0)

Mother Desperate To Help Son

One Wellington mother was desperate to get help for her son who has symptoms of schizophrenia. In the past she even provoked her son to hit her so that she could get him the help he needs. "Scarred by her experience, she is calling for changes to the Mental Health Act to enable struggling families to get help early, before their loved one becomes a threat to themselves or others. The mother, who would not be named, had been trying to get help for her adult son for two years before he was eventually committed to Wellington Hospital's Ward 27 Read More...
Posted by christine at 12:03 PM | Comments (3)

Schizophrenia Greater in West

Over the years there have been many arguments over whether developed countries have higher, lower, or equivalent levels of schizophrenia diagnoses. A new survey was done in which data from 188 studies was reviewed to get a better idea of where schizophrenia is most prevalent. They found that schizophrenia was more common in developed countries, although there is speculation as to why this is happening. "Prof McGrath said some scientists had speculated the social connectedness in village life among people living in poorer countries may cushion those with schizophrenia from some of the disability, helping them to recover...His own belief Read More...
Posted by christine at 11:33 AM | Comments (2)

Call for Artwork

We received the following announcement in our admin email box. The sponsoring non-profit organization is called Hospital Audiences, Inc - more information about them, and about previous Outsider Art exhibits, is available on their website. Contemporary Outsider Art in America SURVEY 2006 Call for Entries In January, 2005, HAI presented Contemporary Outsider Art in America: SURVEY 2005, a juried exhibit of art by self-taught artists with mental disabilities at The Gallery at HAI in Soho, NYC. The exhibit was an opportunity for selected artists to have their work exhibited in Soho, NYC during Outsider Art Week and around the corner Read More...
Posted by Julia at 08:05 AM | Comments (0)

July 10, 2005

Schizophrenia Knowledge Quiz

The Public Library of Science has published a quick online quiz you can take to test your knowledge about current schizophrenia research. Its not easy - but a good education on some common issues and medications associated with schizophrenia. We highly recommend it for anyone who wants to test their knowledge, and learn a little more. Click here to Test Your Knowledge: Ten Questions about Schizophrenia Gavin Yamey PLoS Medicine Vol. 2, No. 5 Read More...
Posted by Farzin at 10:25 AM | Comments (2)

Schizophrenia & Animal Research

Importance of animal models in schizophrenia research. van den Buuse M, Garner B, Gogos A, Kusljic S Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2005 Jul;39(7):550-7. How does animal research help us understand a complex human mental illness such as schizophrenia? After all rats and mice are obviously very different from humans, so how can their simpler brains help us understand the same kind of complex symptoms as humans? In this review, the authors summarize the importance of animal models for research on schizophrenia. Ethics Just like in human research, animal research is governed by local animal rights ethics committees that monitor Read More...
Posted by Farzin at 10:12 AM | Comments (1)

July 08, 2005

Crystal Meth & Schizophrenia

CRYSTAL METH USE CAN HAVE DISTURBING SIDE EFFECTS, ACCORDING TO HEALTH-CARE WORKERS AND COUNSELLORS A new story out of Canada discusses the use of methamphetamine and its relation to psychosis. It seems that the use of methamphetamine or as it sometimes called, crystal meth (one of its more popular street names), has the potential to induce psychosis: (Psychiatrist) Dr. (Heather) Keizer (has seen) a spike in the number of youth with psychosis after using meth in the winter of 2004. It dropped a bit in the summer months but picked up again this past winter. She sees youth, mostly boys, Read More...
Posted by Laura at 11:02 PM | Comments (20)

Seroquel Effective Against Aggression?

Seroquel is effective against aggression in patients with schizophrenia The majority of people suffering from schizophrenia are not violent. However, there seems to be a misconception about the disorder, in that many people perceive those suffering from schizophrenia as being violent. Despite this misconception, violence associated with schizophrenia is still an issue that some sufferers face - especially people with a history of violence, people with dual-diagnosis (drug abuse and schizophrenia), and people with command hallucinations. A recent article discusses a new study which examines the role of the antipsychotic Seroquel in the exhibition of violent behavior in patients diagnosed Read More...
Posted by Laura at 09:13 PM | Comments (0)

Hang Out Place & Schizophrenia

Read more... Schizophrenia Coping
A PLACE TO JUST 'HANG OUT' FOR (THE PSYCHIATRICALLY DISABLED) Research from developing countries demonstrates that being a member of a community might be beneficial to the psychiatrically disabled. One of our past articles discusses the positive effects that social ties have for people suffering from brain disorders such as schizophrenia. Unfortunately, in America, the stigma associated with brain disorders makes it difficult for sufferers to form social ties. Unlike many Americans, those with psychiatric disabilities "rarely...find a place...to...be themselves - to get together and hang out with friends, hear some tunes and share some laughs." In order to remedy Read More...
Posted by Laura at 01:50 AM | Comments (1)

July 07, 2005

New Gene-Scanning Technique

A team out of the University of Southampton recently announced that they have successfully applied a cost-effective technique to scan the human genome for genetic mutations. The scanning device, meltMADGE, "combines thermal ramp electrophoresis with microplate array diagonal gel electrophoresis." A team of British medical researchers used meltMADGE to scan the genes of about 10,000 individuals for mutations associated with cholesterol blood levels. According to the original article in Science Daily: "This is the first time that it has been possible to find out whether there may be unknown rare genetic variations in the population which may cause mild forms Read More...
Posted by Julia at 08:00 PM | Comments (0)

Personal Story: Filmmaker & Schizophrenia

Smart family tree A new story out of Australia may provide insight into the mind of one man suffering from schizophrenia. Filmmaker David Glover has a brother with schizophrenia. Glover, who will be producing two episodes of a new show called DNA (provided by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation) shares a childhood anecdote: "My mum's a neurobiochemist, my dad's a moral philosopher, my brother's now a schizophrenic and my sister's a psychiatric aide... When I was a kid my dad (Jonathan Glover) wrote a book and one of the things he thought about was in the future if science made it Read More...
Posted by Laura at 06:55 PM | Comments (2)

50 Signs Book Review

A schizophrenia.com member recently reviewed the new book 50 Signs of Mental Illness, published by Yale University Press in April 2005. The review is included below. Thank you to the contributor! Just published in April, by Yale University Press, is a new book entitled 50 Signs of Mental Illness, by James W. Hicks, M.D. A forensic psychiatrist and director of clinical services at the Kirby Forensic Psychiatric Center in NYC, Dr. Hicks is also assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at NYU. Fifty Signs is much like a layperson’s DSM-IV manual; an easy-to-read reference book which de-mystifies mental illness. Each chapter Read More...
Posted by Julia at 11:31 AM | Comments (0)

Improving Brain Development of Preemies

Previous studies have indicated that below-weight babies, and babies who experience birth complications, have an increased risk for schizophrenia. One of the reasons for this might be because these babies are often deprived of oxygen (either due to prolonged birth complications or because of underdeveloped lungs), which can delay normal brain development. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine indicates that nitrous oxide treatment after birth might help prevent the developmental damage that often plagues very small and premature babies. Nitrous oxide is a gas that both relaxes blood vessels to allow greater oxygen-carrying capacity, and also Read More...
Posted by Julia at 08:37 AM | Comments (0)

Nonadherence to Schizophrenia Treatment

Attitudes toward antipsychotic medication: the impact of clinical variables and relationships with health professionals. Relapse is often caused by nonadherence to antipsychotic medication. A new study attempts to address this issue of nonadherence by examining patients' attitudes toward medication and their relationships with health professionals. Researchers conducted the study by measuring variables such as: "symptoms, insight, drug adverse effects, self-reported adherence, attitudes toward treatment, perceived relationship with the prescriber, ward atmosphere, and admission experience," in participants with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. In order to gather data, researchers approached patients who had been admitted into inpatient wards "at 8 hospitals in Read More...
Posted by Laura at 03:47 AM | Comments (0)

July 06, 2005

More on Pregnancy & Atypical Antipsychotics

Atypical antipsychotics; Drugs, Pregnancy, and Lactation In the past we've discussed the use of antipsychotics during pregnancy: http://www.schizophrenia.com/sznews/archives/001823.html Recently, a new article discusses this issue in detail by also considering the reproductive safety of newer atypical antipsychotics. Initially, the article discusses older typical antipsychotics, stating that such drugs have been proven to be "safe" in the area of tetragenic risk - the risk associated with substances such as chemicals or radiation which have the potential to cause abnormal development of an embryo. However, the article points out that much less data exists on the reproductive safety of newer atypical antipsychotics. Read More...
Posted by Laura at 04:48 PM | Comments (0)

Suicide Risk Factors in SZ

Read more... Schizophrenia Coping
A major review article in the British Journal of Psychiatry analyzed the results of 28 studies in order to determine the main risk factors for suicide in the schizophrenia population. The main risk factors identified by the review article are: --depression --previous suicide attempts --drug misuse --agitation or restlessness --a knowledge of deteriorating mental status --poor compliance with treatment --recent loss --Family history of suicide or affective disorders Interestingly, the positive psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia - hallucinations and delusions - were not identified as risk factors. Indeed, these symptoms were negatively correlated with suicide. Patients living alone and/or not with Read More...
Posted by Julia at 08:18 AM | Comments (0)

Merck Licenses New SZ Drug

U.S. drug company Merck and Co has recently bought the rights for a new experimental schizophrenia drug from Japan. Medication SM13496 is currently in FDA Phase II trials. Results from early research suggest that the drug may not cause the problematic weight gain side effects that have plagued users of other second-generation antipsychotics. However, all research on this drug has been funded by the developers themselves - therefore, read all results with due caution. We would like to see independent, non-biased confirmation of drug efficacy. SM-13496 is a novel antipsychotic with high binding affinity for dopamine (D2) and serotonin receptors. Read More...
Posted by Julia at 08:13 AM | Comments (0)

July 05, 2005

Identify neuroleptic malignant syndrome

Clinical Psychiatry Online, in this month's issue, highlights the uncommon, but deadly side effect of anti-psychotic medications called "NMS", or Neuroleptic malignant syndrome, which is a type of hypothermia (low body temperature) which can be halted immediately by discontinuation of the drug. The journal article, (written for doctors, but probably understandable to most lay audiences) describes the diagnosis of the problem using the mnemonic "FEVER" (as a memory trigger). According to this article, FEVER stands for: Fever. Hyperthermia is often considered NMS’ hallmark and distinguishes it from other acute neuropsychiatric disorders. Encephalopathy. Patients may abruptly and unexpectedly become confused, obtunded, Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 11:03 PM | Comments (1)

Multiple Meds and Treatment-resistant Schizophrenia

For some patients the use of a single antipsychotic just does not seem to work, that's when combining antipsychotics comes into consideration. This does not mean having a patient use two or more antipsychotics for a brief period of time (for example when phasing off one, while starting a new medication). Rather, what we are talking about here is using 2 or more antipsychotics over a certain amount of time for "long term control." How safe combination antipsychotic therapy is has come into question. About 10% to 20% of patients with schizophrenia have undergone such therapy in the US. 90% Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 10:44 PM | Comments (0)

Schizophrenia and Diabetes in Children

Illness may not stop at diabetes for some kids A new study published in the June issue of Pediatric Diabetes suggests that type 2 diabetes might be linked to neurospsychiatric disorders in children. According to the study, "as many as one in five children with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes may also have a neuropsychiatric disorder." The possible neuropsychiatric disorders include: "depression, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, developmental delay, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder." "Our findings may be important in screening practices for children with either of these conditions," said Dr. Lorraine E. Levitt Katz, pediatric endocrinologist with Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Read More...
Posted by Laura at 10:13 PM | Comments (0)

Genetics of Complex Diseases

Read more... Schizophrenia Biology
A team of scientists at Johns Hopkins University have just announced that susceptibility to a certain complex birth defect is not related to normal gene inheritance. Instead of occuring within a section of gene that codes for a protein molecule, the anomoly occurs in a section of gene that regulates the expression of other genes. This type of interaction, where one gene influences the activity of another, is known as epigenetic interaction. Ways that one gene can influence another include sequences that determine the probability that a gene is turned on (making protein) or off, how much of the protein Read More...
Posted by Julia at 09:16 PM | Comments (0)

Cognitive Rehabilitation for Schizophrenia

Read more... Schizophrenia Coping
Brain function in schizophrenia can improve with support, holds promise for cognitive rehabilitation The Washington University in St. Louis reports that a study conducted there has demonstrated that brain function can be improved for people with schizophrenia. Need cues, memory aids When encouraged to use memorization strategies commonly employed by healthy individuals, people with schizophrenia can be helped to remember information just as well as their healthy counterparts, a process that in itself seems to spur a normalization of memory-related activities in the brains of people with schizophrenia, suggests new research from Washington University in St. Louis. Memory study shows Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 10:11 AM | Comments (1)

Irish Schizophrenia Research Center

Ireland's first institute of neuroscience has been opened Trinity College Dublin. The institute has received research funding of EUR 12 million and was built at a cost of EUR 28 million. The institute has pledged to try to find cures for many, until now, incurable diseases, including Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience (TCIN) is funded by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and Atlantic Philanthropies, run by well-known Irish-American billionaire philanthropist Chuck Feeney. The director of the institute, Prof Ian Robertson, said, "we will strive to find cures to many incurable diseases such as schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 09:07 AM | Comments (0)

Science Essay Focuses on Sz, Smoking, Genes

The winning entry of the 2005 EMBO Science Writing Prize explains some of the complex interactions between schizophrenia, genes, and smoking to a non-scientific target audience. The topic this year was "Genes and Behavior." While the subject and facts themselves are non-fiction, the piece is written in an anecdotal style, as a conversation between a patient's wife and a doctor. It helps to increase the readability and interest of the piece without taking away from the scientific content of the doctor's explanations. Although it will not make anyone an expert on the complexity of genes and schizophrenia (the piece is Read More...
Posted by Julia at 07:56 AM | Comments (0)

July 04, 2005

Schizophrenia and Drug Addiction

A New Study Focuses on the building blocks of schizophrenia and drug addiction The following is from a press release from McGill University, Canada. Montreal, July 4, 2005 - Traumatic life events such as complications during birth, drug abuse and stress may have long-lasting effects on behaviour according to researcher Cecilia Flores PhD, of the Douglas Hospital Research Centre. She is using a variety of techniques to better understand how these changes occur in the brain and is particularly interested in how exposure to environmental stressors can have an impact on the development of mental disorders such as schizophrenia and Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 08:09 PM | Comments (3)

July 03, 2005

Injectable Risperidone Safe & Effective?

ANTIPSYCHOTIC THERAPY; Direct transition to long-acting injectable risperidone safe and effective One of the current drawbacks of many atypical antipsychotics is that they aren't formulated into depot injections. Depot injections are seen as beneficial in the sense that they ususally guarantee compliance. The individual on medication usually gets an injection every couple of weeks (this simplifies the procedure of "taking" medication). Currently, efforts are being made to formulate atypical antipsychotics in injectable form. A new study has examined the antipsychotic risperidone in its recent injectable form: "Patients symptomatically stable, but considered to require a treatment change, received 25 mg of Read More...
Posted by Laura at 03:03 PM | Comments (0)

Pregnancy & Schizophrenia

INSTITUTE OF PSYCHIATRY, LONDON; Studies add new findings to obstetrics body of knowledge Some new studies conducted in "the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia describe advances in obstetrics." One of these studies examined the pregnancies of women with psychotic disorders. According to the study, "(t)he majority of women with psychotic disorders have children but their pregnancies are at an increased risk of obstetric and psychiatric complications." A recent report discusses the findings of this study. "In the report, Louise M. Howard, PhD, with the Institute of Psychiatry, London, reviewed "research into the fertility of women with psychosis and complications occurring Read More...
Posted by Laura at 01:37 PM | Comments (0)

Study confirms older father ups Schizophrenia risk

A recent study in a Japanese population, the first cross-cultural study done on this topic, has confirmed previous reports (see http://www.schizophrenia.com/hypo.html#older for supporting research) that older fathers (i.e. older at the age of their children's conception) are linked to an increased risk for schizophrenia in those children. Author Nori Takei and others analyzed data on paternal age from 99 Japanese people with schizophrenia, and 381 Japanese people without the diseases. Both groups averaged in their mid-twenties. After correcting for the effects of family history and birth complications (both of which also increase the likelihood of schizophrenia), authors calculated an increased Read More...
Posted by Julia at 08:34 AM | Comments (1)

July 02, 2005

Low Birth Weight Risk for Schiz.

Low Birth Weight a Risk Factor for Future Schizophrenia More evidence that below-normal fetal birth weight is a risk factor for "increased psychological stress" later in life has just been published in the British Journal of Psychiatry. Results indicated that "children born full term but weighing less than 5.5 lbs (almost 3% of the total sample) had a 50% increased risk of psychological distress in later life." The risk was not associated with premature babies (those born before 38 weeks) - just below-weight babies born at full term. In the study from the University of Bristol, Dr. Nicola Wiles and Read More...
Posted by Julia at 08:47 AM | Comments (0)

July 01, 2005

Scientology's War against Psychiatry

Salon.com has an interesting story on what they are calling "Scientology's War on Psychiatry" Following is a brief excerpt, and a link to the full story: "The controversial church, whose founder called shrinks "terrorists" and which labels mental illness a fraud, is closer than you think to implanting its extreme beliefs in the nation's laws and schools. ...It may be easy to dismiss Tom Cruise's recent outbursts against psychiatry as the ravings of an egomaniacal celebrity. Comedians have certainly had a field day with Cruise, a fervent disciple of the Church of Scientology, ever since he scolded Brooke Shields for Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 05:35 PM | Comments (10)

Graduating, Disabilities & Budget Cuts

Aging Out': When Disabled Children Get Too Old for Public Education A new article discusses the significance of high school graduation for the disabled. Many "good" high school districts provide services for disabled children. Through these services, disabled students are able to receive individualized education. And, their parents get help with "handholding and paperwork-filing." But, what happens after graduation? It seems that "...because of recent federal budget cuts, and chronic gaps in community funding for adults with disabilities, those leaving public education are 'losing a level of care they can't replicate...'" In fact, some disabled consider their high school graduation Read More...
Posted by Laura at 05:09 PM | Comments (0)

Eli Lilly Won't Lower Prices

Eli Lilly Won't Lower Prices For Medicaid Recently, there has been much debate over Florida's decision to restrict drugs for Medicaid patients (our past story). At the center of this issue is Eli Lilly, the producer of "Zyprexa, the most commonly prescribed drug for schizophrenia and acute bipolar disorder." It seems that Eli Lilly is unwilling to negotiate with the state to lower its prices: "Lilly has refused to negotiate with the state altogether. They are the only [one] of 219 brand-name manufacturers that did not respond to the state's bid request," Jonathan Burns, spokesman for the Agency for Health Read More...
Posted by Laura at 02:52 PM | Comments (0)

South Korea Provides Jobs for the Disabled?

Roh pledges to focus on improving welfare for disabled In South Korea, President Roh Moo-hyun announced that "his government will focus on improving welfare of the handicapped and those suffering from paralysis, schizophrenia and other diseases during the remainder of his tenure." Though, this news is focused on South Korea it seems relevant to all parts of the world. Often, the psychiatrically disabled have problems getting a job. President Moo-hyun plans to deal with this problem by "actively addressing employment of the disabled:" "We need to divert government budget funds to social welfare projects while leaving the market to take Read More...
Posted by Laura at 02:34 PM | Comments (0)

Experts Debate Typical/Atypical Meds

Four schizophrenia experts squared off on the topic of first-generation antipsychotics (FGA, or "typical") versus second-generation antipsychotics (SGA, or "atypical") at the American Psychiatric Association annual convention in Atlanta, GA in May 2005. The questions addressed included which class of drugs is superior in terms of efficacy and side effects, and whether comparison studies fairly represent clinically significant information. Arguing on the side of FGAs were Rajiv Tandon, M.D., director of the schizophrenia division in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan, and William Carpenter, M.D., director of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. They were answered by John Read More...
Posted by Julia at 08:37 AM | Comments (1)

Branding the Mental Health Industry

Marketing Expert: Branding May Mean Better Business for Mental Health Industry Currently, the mental health industry "is pursuing the benefits associated with branding." It seems that both public funding cuts and the aging population of baby boomers are reasons behind the mental health industry's decision. Unfortunately, branding, an advertising technique that should help the mental health industry become more public, might be difficult for the industry. Because the mental health industry represents psychiatric disabilities such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, etc. there maybe some stigma associated with it: "The stigma traditionally associated with mental illnesses - such as depression, anxiety or Read More...
Posted by Laura at 02:22 AM | Comments (0)

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