August 31, 2005

Remission of Schizophrenia

A sustained remission from schizophrenia gives one many of the skills that mentally healthy individuals have, but there are certain symptoms that may continue to persist. In a study examining this phenomenon, researchers matched 28 patients with schizophrenia in remission who had lived independently for at least 2 years, to 28 patients who were still suffering from the symptoms of schizophrenia. For an individual with schizophrenia to be considered recovered they had to score 4 or less on the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, attend school or go to work at least 1/2 time, live independently, and be social at least Read More...
Posted by christine at 02:15 PM | Comments (0)

Women with Schizophrenia Outperform Men

A new research study suggests that women without schizophrenia are naturally better able to understand facial emotions, and this trend seems to be unaffected when both parties have schizophrenia. Researchers compared 53 patients with schizophrenia, 28 were men, and 25 were women, on a "facial affect recognition task." 42 mentally healthy controls also participated in the study. Accuracy and sensitivity to the changes in emotional expression were examined as the computer generated faces either had a neutral, positive or negative expression. Both genders with schizophrenia were at similar levels on positive and negative symptoms, as well as the level of Read More...
Posted by christine at 01:24 PM | Comments (0)

August 30, 2005

Brain Research for Schizophrenia

Dr. Frances Benes has about 6,000 brains of which she and many others have used to identify the genes that cause several physical and mental diseases. She is in charge of the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center in which the brains of those who were generous enough to leave them to science once they had passed away. "In her investigations, Benes has found compelling evidence that miswiring of neural circuitry may give rise to both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Her work has contributed to the current understanding that like Alzheimer's disease, neither schizophrenia nor bipolar disorder is linked to degenerative Read More...
Posted by christine at 02:57 PM | Comments (0)

Schizophrenia Link to Hand Usage in Japan

Ambiguous or mixed hand use is related to having schizophrenia symptoms in Japanese people. Often those who are naturally left-handed adopt right-handedness because of cultural pressures. This only confirms research that "atypical cerebral lateralization" which has to do with being left-handed or ambidextrous, is a risk factor for schizophrenia. 413 Japanese individuals who were healthy took the Annett handedness questionnaire as well as a schizotypy scale (STA). At first the results were confusing due to the fact that there was originally no link between hand use and one's STA scores. But then it was noted that very few of the Read More...
Posted by christine at 02:19 PM | Comments (0)

Helping Young People Come To Terms with Schizophrenia

Helping young people come to terms with Schizophrenia Creating websites and placing posters in schools are just some of the ways self-help support groups (SHSGs) could reach young people with a mental illness, according to a study just completed at the University of Western Sydney, Australia. Dr Ann Dadich spent three years researching such groups and found many were not being fully accessed by those who most needed them - young people. Instead, young people were more likely to self-diagnose, research their illness through the Internet, or talk to friends about their problems. "Collectively, SHSGs offered young people support...but not Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 10:27 AM | Comments (0)

August 29, 2005

Keeping a Job With a Psychiatric Disability

Read more... Schizophrenia Coping
Maintaining a job while dealing with a psychiatric disability can be difficult, to say the least. But a booklet called "Hangin' In There: Strategies for Job Retention by Persons with a Psychiatric Disability" has provided us with a great source of information on all the things you need to know in such a situation. The booklet covers: recovery from mental illness, the importance of keeping a job, disclosure of your psychiatric disability, personal accounts from employees and employers dealing with this issue, and more. This booklet is a great source of information for both the employee and the employer of Read More...
Posted by christine at 02:00 PM | Comments (0)

Seroxat linked to increased suicides

In a story mainly reported in The Times London (UK) and the Daily Mail, one of Britain's most widely prescribed anti-depressants, Seroxat, has been linked to a seven-fold increase in suicide attempts. An analysis of trials by Norwegian researchers found that suicidal thoughts were more common among those taking the drug. This is relevant to people with mental illness, because many take anti-depressants in addition to anti-psychotic medications. Seroxat is manufactured by British pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline. The paper said an analysis carried out by Oslo University on Seroxat involving more than 1,500 patients found seven suicide attempts among those taking Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 11:33 AM | Comments (2)

Mental Health for Immigrants, ECT Information

The on-line mental health web site called "The Infinite Mind" has a number of good recordings to listen to that have become available recently, as described below. Mental Health for Immigrants This program explores Mental Health Care for Immigrants, with host Dr. Peter Kramer. Guests include Dr. Arthur Kleinman, professor of medical anthropology and psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and one of the world's leading experts in medical anthropology and cross-cultural psychiatry; Dr. Jane Delgado, a clinical psychologist and the president and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health; Dr. Mohamed Farrag, a psychologist and the clinical director of Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 09:40 AM | Comments (0)

August 28, 2005

Art Exhibit for Donovan Durham

Donovan Durham is 44-years old and suffers from both paranoid schizophrenia and sickle cell anemia. But he hasn't let these things get in the way of his passion for art. Durham first discovered his passion as a child living in the south when his doctor told him drawing would be a great way to "express his feelings." Unfortunately, when Durham's paintings were put in a group showing and received a lot of acclaim, his parents forced him to stop drawing. They were very religious and thought that the drawings were offensive to God. "Durham doesn't talk much about what happened Read More...
Posted by christine at 01:00 PM | Comments (0)

Inhibitory System Controls Cortex Activity

This new research study out of Yale University suggests some important implications for those dealing with schizophrenia, epilepsy, or other psychiatric disorders. The brain's inhibitory systems are essential for controlling the pattern of activity in the cortex, which has important implications for the mechanisms of cortical operation, according to a Yale School of Medicine study in Neuron. There are two cell types in the brain's cortex, excitatory and inhibitory. The cortex has a tendency to make recurrent excitation, and, if not properly controlled by the inhibitory system, this could lead to seizures, as is seen in epilepsy. "Temporal precision in Read More...
Posted by christine at 12:23 PM | Comments (0)

August 27, 2005

Schizophrenia Due to Language?

A new theory about one of the possible causes of Schizophrenia suggests that it may be due to the fact that human brains can "process thought and speech." The psychologist holding this controversial new theory is Professor Tim Crow who works for the mental health charity Sane, established in Oxford. The human brain has developed into something that has a "strong regional bias", in other words, certain areas and sides of the brain control certain commands and body parts. This is referred to as brain asymmetry, and is the norm in most people. Professor Crow states that brain asymmetry is Read More...
Posted by christine at 01:44 PM | Comments (1)

NIMH Gives $3 Million For Schizophrenia Research

Mental Health Rehabilitation Agency Participates in Major Schizophrenia Study The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has approved a new $3 million multi-year grant aimed at increasing the effectiveness of community mental health rehabilitation by rapidly moving research findings into active care settings. PORTALS, a CARF-accredited nationally recognized community-based mental health rehabilitation agency in Los Angeles, will partner with investigators from USC and UCLA on the project, entitled, "Biosocial Factors in Rehabilitation of Schizophrenia." "By rapidly putting into practice what we learn through clinical research about effective treatment interventions, we are confident that we will be able to enhance resiliency Read More...
Posted by christine at 01:13 PM | Comments (2)

August 26, 2005

Excerpt from New Book: Divided Minds

Our local blog celebrity -- Pamela Wagner -- has had her and her sister's new book featured earlier this month in the New York Times. Following is a short excerpt from their new book "Divided Minds" and a link to the full article just below the excerpt. I highly recommend you check it out, and also check Pam's blog on the site. We Both Live Here (New York Times, August 7th, 2005) By PAMELA SPIRO WAGNER and DR. CAROLYN S. SPIRO Published: August 7, 2005 PAMELA: On Nov. 17, 1952, I slid into the world with barely a whimper. Five Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 10:37 AM | Comments (3)

August 25, 2005

Depression Improves Functioning

A recent research study suggests that depression in schizophrenia patients that have been institutionalized may be correlated with improved functioning for some of them. The study looked at 657 people with schizophrenia that had been institutionalized and looked at how depression affected them. 48 of the 657 (7.3%) were suffering from depression, some had a severe form of it, and others were at a moderate level. Most of those who were depressed were younger, had a higher education level, and had not been hospitalized as long as those who were not depressed. These variables were taken into account and depressed Read More...
Posted by christine at 01:59 PM | Comments (0)

Childhood Growth=Schizophrenia Risk?

In a recent research study childhood growth rates in children who have mothers with either schizophrenia or a schizoaffective spectrum disorder was analyzed to see if it had any relation to developing schizophrenia. They were compared with those who were born to mentally healthy mothers. 114 children who had parents with schizophrenia and 53 control children were examined in this study. The 114 who were considered to be at "high-risk" for developing schizophrenia were both shorter and lighter at birth than the control children. The height difference was statistically significant at birth for the girls. The girls that were at Read More...
Posted by christine at 01:02 PM | Comments (0)

August 24, 2005

Sibling's Guide to Psychosis

Having a sibling that is suffering from psychosis can be very difficult on a person. That brother or sister that you know and love is suddenly dealing with something that you may have little to no understanding of. You might feel like you are unable to help them which can be an isolating experience for you. The brochure "A Sibling's Guide to Psychosis: Information, Ideas, and Resources" is a great way to get the information you need as well as to hear what other people go through who are in the same situation. This brochure contains several excerpts from the Read More...
Posted by christine at 12:43 PM | Comments (0)

Grants For DNA Sequencing

DNA sequencing has the potential to help find a cure for schizophrenia, as well as give us a better understanding of its biological and genetic background. Genome research can help us cure many of the diseases today that we struggle with; someday it may even be affordable to have your own DNA sequenced. This news release gives information on the recent breakthroughs on DNA sequencing and the grants financing our dreams for the future. BETHESDA, Md., Mon., Aug. 8, 2005 - The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), today announced it has Read More...
Posted by christine at 12:05 PM | Comments (0)

August 23, 2005

Israeli Drug with reduced Side Effects?

Israeli drug shown to reduce side effects of schizophrenia medication Pre-clinical testing of a new drug to treat schizophrenia has yielded promising results in Israel. The medication, based on a substance developed by a group of Bar-Ilan University and Tel Aviv University researchers, has been shown to significantly reduce the serious side effects associated with other drugs currently used to treat the disease. The drug was synthesized in the research laboratory of Prof. Abraham Nudelman, head of the Medicinal Chemistry division at Bar-Ilan University and its biological activity was tested in the laboratories of Dr. Irit Gilad, Dr. Ada Rephaeli Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 08:59 PM | Comments (1)

Adjunctive Topiramate for Treatment Resistant Schizophrenia

A new study suggests that using the drug topiramate in addition to antipsychotic medication may be helpful for 10%-20% of those with treatment-resistant schizophrenia. According to the researchers in the study less than 50% of those suffering from schizophrenia get a complete response to antipsychotics. Topiramate is a "glutamate antagonist" and is often used for those who are only receiving a portion of the benefits that are usually accrued by those taking antipsychotics. The study's participants were 26 hospitalized patients suffering from treatment-resistant schizophrenia. Randomly, they were either given 300/mg a day of topiramate or just a placebo in addition Read More...
Posted by christine at 06:08 PM | Comments (0)

Patient Characteristics Influence Antipsychotic Prescribing

A new study suggests that personal/situational aspects of a patient (eg. race, economic class, etc.) seems to have a relatively significant influence the type of antipsychotic that they are prescribed. This study specifically looked at how certain characteristics influenced whether an individual was prescribed olanzapine (Zyprexa) or risperidone (Risperdal). All 33,119 of the participants whose prescription records were looked at either had schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. This population was seperated into 3 groups: group A were those who had been treated with an atypical that was neither olanzapine or risperidone, group B had never been prescribed with an atypical, and Read More...
Posted by christine at 05:14 PM | Comments (0)

Side Effects Questionnaires

This article is old news (2001) but has some good one-page surveys that we think are valuable to remind people about (see links in text below). The short surveys are a good way for individuals and families to check for medications side effect severity (and then discuss them with your doctor). "Side effects from antipsychotic medications can have a profound effect on patients' lives and may adversely affect their willingness to comply with treatment. Identification of side effects through improved communication between psychiatrists, other members of the healthcare team, and their patients might increase treatment compliance. The Approaches to Schizophrenia Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 01:56 PM | Comments (0)

Success in Animal model of Schizophrenia

Read more... Schizophrenia Biology
Study Finds Neural Abnormalities are the Same in Animal Model and Postmortem Schizophrenia Brains - Findings pave the way for developing new treatment strategies for schizophrenia In a press release from McLean Hospital, Researchers at the Harvard-affiliated hospital report being able to produce cellular changes in rats' brains similar to those seen in humans with schizophrenia by manipulating a precise area of the animals' amygdala, a region critical to emotional stress and learning. In a paper published in the online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the researchers, headed by Francine M. Benes, MD, Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 09:47 AM | Comments (0)

August 22, 2005

Recovery overstated in Schizophrenia?

Read more... Schizophrenia Coping
Much has been printed in the press about improving outcomes for people with schizophrenia during the past decade. While this is certainly what we all want as family members, this editorial by professors at the University of Toronto (Canada) in the journal "Psychiatric Services" comments that psychiatrists may be overstating the case when they talk too much about "recovery". In our experience here at - we frequently hear about success stories where people are frequently able to achieve significant accomplishments (e.g. Pam Wagner's recent book publishing with her sister (see previous posting) - but these people also go through Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 10:10 AM | Comments (9)

Book: Divided Minds - On Tour

Pam Wagner (who writes WagBlog on our site) and her sister's new book is out and their publicity tour is going well. We think its great to see a family that has suffered through schizophrenia come out with their own story in print. Its a great accomplishment for Pam and her sister, and a great educational book for everyone to learn more about the disease. Following is an excerpt from a recent newspaper article on their book launch: "Divided Minds: Twin Sisters and Their Journey Through Schizophrenia" with articles in "Reader's Digest," "People" and the New York "Times" on authors Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 09:54 AM | Comments (1)

New Early Detection Program in North Carolina

The University of North Carolina announced this week a that a new program to open in Chapel Hill this September is aimed at providing early treatment to adolescents and young adults who have experienced psychosis for the first time. The new program, called OASIS (Outreach and Support Intervention Services), was developed by the Department of Psychiatry at the UNC School of Medicine. OASIS is unique in the United States in its emphasis on tailoring early identification and treatment to young people and their families at the start of a psychotic disorder. The program was developed by a multidisciplinary team at Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 08:48 AM | Comments (0)

August 19, 2005

Caring For Cat Helps Woman With Schizophrenia

Janet Reid has written an article about her decision to own a cat after hearing that owning a pet can be beneficial for people with schizophrenia. She discovered the potential benefits she could receive from owning an animal in Schizophrenia Digest; it stated that owning a pet, whether it be dog, cat, or fish can help a person suffering from schizophrenia. Reid was not initially successful (she owned a dog for 2 days before giving him back to the animal shelter), but did not give up. Reid eventually decided to give it another go. She called a number in a Read More...
Posted by christine at 01:54 PM | Comments (0)

IQ Stable After Child-Onset Schizophrenia

In the rare cases in which one develops schizophrenia at an early age, it has been asked: how does this affects one IQ? Surprisingly, a recent study has found that one's IQ and cognitive function are for the most part, steadfast in their original course. This stability remains for the first 13 years after being diganosed with child-onset schizophrenia, even when the case is chronic or any loss in the brain's grey matter. "As found in adult patients with schizophrenia, the usual positive relationship between brain volume and IQ seen in normal controls no longer appears to exist for our Read More...
Posted by christine at 01:24 PM | Comments (1)

August 18, 2005

New Website Provides Helpful Mental Health Info

Eli Lilly Australia's MindBodyLife website provides helpful advice 18 Aug 2005 Balancing mental and physical health requires daily focus for all of us - and for people with mental illness the challenge is even greater. A new web site by Eli Lilly (makers of Zyprexa) website (, launched today, provides positive tools that enable people with mental illness to improve their diets, step up their exercise regimen and enhance their quality of life. Packed with information on a range of topics like the importance of physical activity, good nutrition (including delicious, low-calorie recipes) and having a healthier lifestyle (including tips Read More...
Posted by christine at 01:44 PM | Comments (0)

August 17, 2005

Diabetes due to antipsychotics?

Researchers Investigate Factors Linked to Development of Secondary Diabetes Richard Trubo JAMA. 2005;294,668-670 The American Diabetes Association meeting took place in June and had a symposium focused on secondary diabetes. Secondary diabetes (which is diabetes that starts due to another illness or condition or medication) seems to account for 1% to 5% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. At the symposium, attention was focused on specific antipsychotic medications and their effect on risk factors for diabetes. According to John W. Newcomer, MD, associate professor of psychiatry at the Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Mo, "Antipsychotic-induced weight gain is Read More...
Posted by Farzin at 02:53 PM | Comments (0)

UC to Study Misdiagnosis of Mood Disorders

(I-Newswire) - UC will lead a four-year, multicenter, national study to determine why these misdiagnoses occur, whether they lead to excessive use of antipsychotic drugs among African-Americans and whether misdiagnoses are happening in the Latino population as well. "Research has already shown that African-American patients are being improperly diagnosed," said Stephen Strakowski, MD, professor in UC's Department of Psychiatry and lead investigator for the study, "but we need to find out why." Treatment for mood disorders is different from that typically used for schizophrenia, Dr. Strakowski pointed out. "Patients suffering from depression or bipolar disorder who only receive medications for Read More...
Posted by christine at 02:24 PM | Comments (0)

Alteration of Brain Protein Regulates Learning

Read more... Schizophrenia Biology
Newswise - Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have identified a biochemical switch that affects how neurons fire in a part of the brain associated with learning, findings that may aid in understanding schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease. The research sheds new light on the action of reelin, a protein known to be important in the nervous system. During development, reelin sends cues to migrating neurons, telling them where they're supposed to go. In adult mice, reelin has recently been implicated in the formation of memories, and reduced production of reelin has been associated with schizophrenia in humans. In a report Read More...
Posted by christine at 01:54 PM | Comments (2)

August 16, 2005

Compliance Therapy: Effective Or Not?

Sometimes people with schizophrenia have a hard time adhering to their treatment regimen and so they turn to therapy. Compliance therapy is sometimes used to educate people of the necessity of continuing treatment and educates them of the possible consequences of not doing so. But how effective compliance therapy is has come under speculation. Researcher looked at the efficacy of compliance therapy with 30 outpatients who were either suffering from either schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. The therapy consisted of both cognitive and psychoeducational "approaches" and focused on the patients psychotic symptoms that could sometimes affect their coherence to treatment. The Read More...
Posted by christine at 02:11 PM | Comments (0)

Atypicals Hold Same Risk for Movement Disorders

A recent study has found that movement disorders are just as common in those using atypical antipsychotics as those taking the older typical antipsychotics. Those who are most likely to get a movement disorder from antipsychotics are older individuals taking them for dementia. This negative side effect is thought by many to be of lesser risk for those taking the newer atypicals, but this study highlights the fact that there is an equal risk. The subjects in the study were 21,835 elderly people with dementia who had just began taking antipsychotic drugs. Of this amount 9,790 used atypical antipsychotics and Read More...
Posted by christine at 01:21 PM | Comments (2)

August 15, 2005

Schizoaffective Disorder Lies Between

A recent study examining the link between schizoaffective disorder and bipolar disorder as well as schizophrenia, has come out with some interesting results. According to the findings it seems that schizoaffective disorder has a genetic link to both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Much of the literature looking at schizoaffective disorder has speculated on whether the disorder is a subtype of either of the two disorders, or something completely seperate from the two. Schizoaffective disorder has an increased risk (at 2.76 fold) of developing if the individual has a first degree relative with had some form of mental illness. They also Read More...
Posted by christine at 12:28 PM | Comments (1)

Geodon As Effective As Zyprexa?

This press release contains information on medications used to treat schizophrenia. This article comes from a pharmaceutical company, and therefore it is good to remain skeptical of the results shown in this study. (I-Newswire) - These study results come amidst concern that some second-generation antipsychotics ( SGAs ) can cause weight gain and metabolic adverse events -- including raised cholesterol and insulin levels -- which can increase patients' risks for obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. "Geodon's equal long-term efficacy but lack of metabolic adverse effects are important advantages over Zyprexa," said lead author and investigator George Simpson, M.D., professor of Read More...
Posted by christine at 11:25 AM | Comments (5)

August 12, 2005

Eat Right to Fight Stress

Read more... Schizophrenia Coping
The magazine "Psychology Today" has a valuable reminder on how it helps to eat well to keep stress levels low, and mental functioning high. Since keeping stress levels low is known to help prevent relapse in schizophrenia - this is of particular importance to our readers. The article states: "The Food and Mood Project, a nutrition research group in the U.K., identified "food stressors" and "food supporters," foods that exacerbate stress from the inside and those that help people under stress. The lists were drawn on the basis of personal experience among 200 people surveyed. Nearly 90% of those surveyed Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 01:33 PM | Comments (0)

Easing Stigma around Mental Illness

This story comes to us from Canada, where a group of family members are running the Labatt's 24 hour marathon to help researchers find cures for brain diseases, including schizophrenia, and to reduce stigma. The Ottawa Citizen reported that: "Relay for Life, is an annual fundraiser for the Royal Ottawa Health Care Foundation. Every year, Ms. Kou organizes a team for the event, in which several groups of 15 to 20 people walk, crawl, run, play slo-pitch or do other activities over a 24-hour period. The relay kicks off its 17th year this weekend, with activities specially geared to draw Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 11:15 AM | Comments (3)

August 11, 2005

Is US Overprescribing to Children?

A press/marketing release about a research study done by Bradley Hasbro Children's research center and Brown Medical School suggests that the US may be over-medicating children in some situations. "This is a critical issue - it's not uncommon to find a child on an anti-depressant, a mood stabilizer, and a sleep agent all at the same time, but there's no research to see how these drugs interact with each other" says co-author Joseph Penn, MD a child psychiatrist with the Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center ( BHCRC ) in Providence, RI and Brown Medical School. The authors reviewed 10 years Read More...
Posted by christine at 02:09 PM | Comments (0)

Schizophrenia Treatment Delay

Read more... Schizophrenia Biology
While in general there is a lot of evidence that indicates that the later that a person receives treatment for his or her schizophrenia, the worse the outcome for that person in the long term. Now, however, there is evidence from a recent study that suggests a delay in treatment for schizophrenia does not lead to a reduced hippocampus (which was one of the factors that some researchers thought might be the reason for the worse long term outcome for untreated people who have schizophrenia). In this new study, the duration of untreated psychosis was compared to the volume of Read More...
Posted by christine at 01:58 PM | Comments (0)

Global Scientific Project to Understand Human Brain

(I-Newswire) - Advances in information technology are enabling scientists to develop increasingly sophisticated methods of measuring a brain's functions. To spur developments in this new research field, called neuroinformatics, the seven founding countries ( the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States ) have set up the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility ( INCF ). Other countries are expected to join the INCF in the coming months, with membership open to both OECD member and non-member countries. The host country for the headquarters of this new international body will be announced in Paris on Monday 28 November. Read More...
Posted by christine at 01:11 PM | Comments (0)

August 10, 2005

Alzheimers Toxin May Be Relevant To Schizophrenia

Read more... Schizophrenia Biology
In a world first, Australian researchers have found a toxin that plays an important role in the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common cause of dementia. "Quinolinic acid is part of a biochemical pathway called the kynurenine pathway," said the lead author of the research, UNSW's Dr Gilles Guillemin, who is based at the Centre for Immunology at St Vincent's Hospital. "The activation of that pathway is also found in other major brain diseases including Huntington's disease, stroke, dementia and schizophrenia." The research is significant because drugs that are in the advanced developmental phase for other conditions might Read More...
Posted by christine at 01:32 PM | Comments (1)

Imaging Genetics for Schizophrenia

Emerging Field of Imaging Genetics is Explored at Upcoming UCI Presentation; World's Highest-Resolution Display for Visualizing Genetic Data Will Be Demonstrated IRVINE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 10, 2005--OCTANe@UCI and Calit2 will present "Genetic Medical Imaging -- Converging Technologies Personalize Medicine & Treatment" as part of its "Innovation Series" Thursday, Aug. 18, 2005, from 6 to 8:30 p.m., at the Calit2 Building at UC Irvine. Through facilitated presentations, demonstrations and discussion by UCI's medical and visualization experts, participants will discover the emerging field of genetic medical imaging and explore the development of new disruptive technologies which will potentially affect millions of people who Read More...
Posted by christine at 12:54 PM | Comments (0)

August 09, 2005

Film Captures Struggle of Schizophrenia

A documentary on Susan Smiley's experience dealing with her mom who has schizophrenia, which we covered last year when it first launched, continues to get good reviews as it travels the country. The film is titled "Out of the Shadow" "Smiley, a nationally recognized filmmaker, captured her family's pain, fear and journey toward stability in an award-winning documentary that comes to Northern Kentucky for a free showing on Thursday at Greaves Hall at Northern Kentucky University" (Kreimer, 2005). The illness had a devastating effect on Millie as well as the relationships she had with those in her family. It caused Read More...
Posted by christine at 02:55 PM | Comments (4)

Brain Protein Affects Schizophrenia Memory

Read more... Schizophrenia Biology
Researchers in Canada have come upon an amazing discovery. It was found that low levels of complexins (a brain protein) are correlated with impaired memory and other cognitive impairments in those with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia can affect one's planning, memory, and abstract thinking. The study looked at the brain tissue samples of both humans and animals. The human samples were taken from people with schizophrenia who had passed away as well as mentally healthy individuals who had passed away (for comparison). "The animal studies showed that learning and memory in animals is associated with increases in complexins. The human studies showed Read More...
Posted by christine at 02:14 PM | Comments (0)

Latino Behavioral Health Conference

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 8, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- Latino Behavioral Health Institute (LBHI), one of the nation's largest non-profit organizations dedicated to eliminating discrimination against Latinos in need of behavioral health services and health care, will present its eleventh annual international conference, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 20 -- 22, at the Universal Hilton Hotel in Universal City, Calif. Themed, "Transformation: Towards Access and Quality in Latino Behavioral Health," the event will address contemporary issues of policy, training, research, clinical practice and education related to Latino mental health, substance abuse, health and human services. Approximately 1,000 behavioral health professionals from the Read More...
Posted by christine at 01:10 PM | Comments (0)

August 08, 2005

Radio Talk on Assisted Treatment

If you've ever had a family member who was sick with schizophrenia and unable to seek the treatment they so desperately needed, we encourage you to call (or email) into the radio show (Voice of America) mentioned below. We know from the many people who contact us that assisted treatment is extremely important for many people who have schizophrenia and who don't know it: The Treatment Advocacy Center's Assistant Director Jon Stanley will be on "Talk to America" tomorrow (Tuesday, August 9th) from 12 noon - 1 pm (EST). Broadcast worldwide, Talk To America is Voice of America's first daily Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 03:36 PM | Comments (0)

Social Stress Has Link to Psychotic Disorders

A recent study done in Sweden examined the role of psychosocial factors in the development of psychotic disorders. The study found that native Swedes were at a lower risks than first-generation immigrants to develop a psychotic disorder. First-generation immigrants were three times more likely to develop a psychotic disorder and four times more likely to develop a schizophrenic disorder. Second-generation immigrants were not more at risk than native Swedes to develop such disorders. The researchers collected data over a span of 3 years from those who had inpatient or outpatient services (with a possibility of a psychotic disorder) in Malmo, Read More...
Posted by christine at 01:37 PM | Comments (1)

August 07, 2005

Neurocognitive Domains for Schizophrenia Recovery

A recent study has come out that identifies the three measures of "frontal lobe functioning that appear to be neurocognitive domains associated with recovery from schizophrenia" (PsychiatryMatters.MD, 2005). Those with schizophrenia who had improved in their sypmtoms performed better when tested for executive functioning, verbal fluency, and verbal working memory. The results of this study will help "narrow the search" for areas that if improved on, will help to improve their (patients suffering from schizophrenia) functioning in the community. The participants in the study were 28 people with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder who had improved in their symptoms in terms Read More...
Posted by christine at 02:21 PM | Comments (1)

Medication Response Clue to Familiality

Those with schizophrenia who do not respond to typical antipsychotic treatment may have a form of schizophrenia that is more familial than those who respond well to typical neuroleptic (antipsychotic) treatment. Familial means "tending to occur in more members of a family than expected by chance alone" (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary). The study found that patients that did not improve with antipsychotic treatment had first and second degree family members that were more more at risk to develop schizophrenia than those who were mentally healthy or who had schizophrenia but responded to the treatment. 36 patients participated who had schizophrenia and Read More...
Posted by christine at 01:38 PM | Comments (1)

August 06, 2005

Schizophrenia Stigma Gives Physical Reaction

It is a well known fact that those with schizophrenia can sometimes be marked with a negative stigma by those around them. This is partially due to most of the exposure to schizophrenia coming from movies, TV shows, and the news. These are usually areas that portray those with schizophrenia in a negative light and therefore reinforces the stigma that people put upon those with schizophrenia. Apparently this stigma elicits a negative physiological reaction in those who carry a stigma against those suffering from schizophrenia. 35 students participated in those study, they were all between the ages of 18 and Read More...
Posted by christine at 02:41 PM | Comments (0)

APA Against Benzodiazepine Exclusion From Medicare

A bill has been put out that would undo the exclusion of benzodiazepines from Medicare's new prescription drug benefit. APA Lauds Introduction of Legislation to Repeal Medicare's Part D Exclusion of Coverage of Benzodiazepines Arlington, Va. - The American Psychiatric Association (APA) thanks the Honorable Benjamin L. Cardin (D-3rd MD) for introducing legislation to repeal the current law excluding coverage of benzodiazepines from Medicare's new prescription drug benefit. The APA also commends Rep. Jim Ramstad (R-3rd MN) for his leadership in becoming the lead cosponsor of the legislation. "Your legislation is timely and most welcome, and the members of the Read More...
Posted by christine at 01:40 PM | Comments (0)

August 03, 2005

Negative Symptoms Contribute to Social Phobia

A correlation has been found between the negative symptoms of schizophrenia and social phobia. The relationship between these two was investigated with the help of 60 participants who were currently experiencing their first episode of psychosis. "The researchers explored whether the participants would have any maladaptive or irrational beliefs regarding social situations." Their social phobia level was measured with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV, The Social Phobia and Anxiety Inventory (SPAI), the Social Functioning Scale, the Quality of Life Scale, and the Social Interaction Self-Statement Test. Of the participants, 32% had social phobia, and about 60% were having heightened Read More...
Posted by christine at 02:47 PM | Comments (1)

Prenatal Malnutrition Increases Schizophrenia Risk

People born during a famine in China have an increased risk of schizophrenia, consistent with previous research suggesting a link between fetal nutritional deficiency and schizophrenia, according to a study in the August 3 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on violence and human rights. Schizophrenia is a common form of severe mental illness characterized by thought disorder, hallucinations, and delusions, as well a as deterioration of social functioning and social withdrawal, according to background information in the article. It is distributed worldwide with a lifetime risk of approximately 1 percent. Schizophrenia is increasingly viewed as a neurodevelopmental disorder with Read More...
Posted by christine at 12:00 PM | Comments (1)

August 02, 2005

Atypicals Curb Loss of Brain Cells

A new study has come out suggesting that the antipsychotic drug olanzapine keeps those with schizophrenia from losing grey matter from the brain; the older drug haloperidol apparently does not have the same benefits. We believe that this study was likely funded by the Eli Lilly, the makers of Olanzapine (Zyprexa) - so, as with any information published by a company, you have to be skeptical of the results and potential bias that tends to be common in these types of trials. The research was published in the Archives of General Psychiatry. Increasingly, research is showing that the atypical antipsychotic Read More...
Posted by christine at 02:10 PM | Comments (0)

Biological Test for Schizophrenia?

A biological test to determine whether one has schizophrenia or bipolar disorder has been developed and the results look hopeful, though it is still in the research phase (and not ready for people to use in a clinical setting yet. PhD student Nathan Clunas and associate professor of psychiatry Philip Ward did a pilot study (a test run for a proposed study) that looked at the brain wave patterns of 17 patients with schizophrenia and healthy individuals. They used a electroencephalograph (EEG) "to record specific brain wave forms relating to attention and attention deficits." The brain waves were recorded as Read More...
Posted by christine at 01:06 PM | Comments (0)

NIMH Gives $984,000 Grant for Geriatric Mental Health

(I-Newswire) - "America is aging, at least one third of older people suffer from a mental disorder, and yet we have a critical, nationwide shortage of researchers trained in geriatric mental health," said Jeffrey M. Lyness, M.D., director of the Program in Geriatrics and Neuropsychiatry at the medical center. "Mental health problems like depression and dementias cause as much suffering as common medical conditions like heart disease and cancer, and we urgently need more researchers to identify fundamental disease mechanisms and develop the treatments of the future." In 2003, the number of persons aged 65 years or older was 35.9 Read More...
Posted by christine at 12:14 PM | Comments (1)

Mentally Ill Often Victims of Crime

More than one fourth of individuals with severe mental illness (SMI) were victims of violent crime in the past year, eleven times the rate in the general population, according to a study in the August issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. Prior studies suggest that individuals with mental disorders who live in the community are a vulnerable population at high risk of becoming victims of crime, according to background information in the article. Symptoms associated with severe mental illness, such as disorganized thought processes, impulsivity and poor planning and problem solving may compromise one’s ability Read More...
Posted by christine at 12:02 PM | Comments (6)

August 01, 2005

Highlights from SZ/BP Education Day

On Saturday morning, Drs. Ira Glick, Terence Ketter, and Po Wong gave enlightening talks on schizophrenia and bipolar disorder to a packed Fairchild Auditorium on the Stanford University campus. Dr. Glick expressed surprise and gratitude that so many of the community had a clear interest in these disorders. He seemed pleased with the success of the first annual schizophrenia and bipolar education day, which has been in the works for about a year. The day began with a continental breakfast and a welcome address from Dr. Glick, who said that the objective of this event was to "increase public awareness Read More...
Posted by Julia at 08:24 PM | Comments (2)

Minors in Adult Psychiatric Care

Read more... Schizophrenia Housing
Putting minors into adult psychiatric facilities may put them at risk for a lifetime of mental illness. They might be over-medicated, shackled, and sexually vulnerable to the adults in the psychiatric facility. Over 1,000 minors have been put in adult psychiatric facilities within the past year. "The culture of the service (in adult wards) is really organised around middle-aged and very disabled patients, so young people in the early stages of a mental illness get very poor care and often quite traumatic care," he said [Professor McGorry, a world leader in adolescent psychiatry]. "There are a lot of disturbed patients Read More...
Posted by christine at 02:37 PM | Comments (1)

Calbindin-Immunoreactive Interneurons in Schizophrenia

Read more... Schizophrenia Biology
Those with schizophrenia reportedly have a reduced density of calbindin-immunoreactive interneurons in the prefrontal cortex. Calbindin is a "calcium binding protein" found mainly in that area of the brain. 12 patients with schizophrenia and 12 controls were used in this experiment. Reductions of calbindin proteins in schizophrenia patients have been shown before in other brain regions, such as the prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate, and hippocampus. The authors of the current study suggested that reduced calbindin (and consequently, less inhibition of the pyramidal brain cells in the temporal lobe) may have something to do with the auditory and language processing deficits Read More...
Posted by christine at 01:15 PM | Comments (0)

How to spot questionable medical advice

A recent posting from the blog "Corpus Callosum", written by a psychiatrist in Ann Arbor, contains excellent advice on how to spot sketchy pharmaceutical advice on the internet. The author clearly (and correctly) states how companies and individuals can cleverly interweave true scientific facts, studies, and jargon in with more questionable and unsubstantiated claims. It can be very easy to mistake some of these claims as legitimate, especially if you don't have a lot of experience interpreting scientific abstracts, and if you are skimming a website quickly. This is an especially important topic to be aware of, in light of Read More...
Posted by Julia at 10:46 AM | Comments (0)

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