January 18, 2006

Scientists: stronger link between cat virus and schizophrenia

New research done by scientists shows stronger evidence for a link between a parasite in cat faeces and undercooked meat and an increased risk of schizophrenia. Research published today in Procedings of the Royal Society B, shows how the invasion or replication of the parasite Toxoplasma gondii in rats may be inhibited by using anti-psychotic or mood stabilising drugs. The researchers tested anti-psychotic and mood stabilising medications used for the treatment of schizophrenia on rats infected with T. gondii and found they were as, or more, effective at preventing behaviourial alterations as anti-T. gondii drugs. This led them to believe Read More...
Posted by at 03:37 AM | Comments (9)

January 17, 2006

New Book: Juvenile-Onset Schizophrenia

A new book has been published - that is written more for mental health professionals, but may be of interest to family members who are interested in learning more in-depth information about schizophrenia. The book review, from the Canadian Journal of Psychiatrys, states: Juvenile-Onset Schizophrenia: Assessment, Neurobiology and Treatment Robert L Findling, S Charles Schulz, editors. Baltimore (MD): Johns Hopkins University Press; 311 p. US$49.95. The title of this book echoes the more familiar diagnosis of juvenile-onset diabetes and thus implies an illness different in cause and in course from one that begins in later adult years-an interesting speculation that Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 05:56 PM | Comments (0)

Mice with Defective Memory May Hold Clues to Schizophrenia

By deleting a single gene in a small portion of the brains of mice, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center found that the animals were affected in a way resembling schizophrenia in humans. After the gene was removed, the animals, which had been trained to use external cues to look for chocolate treats buried in sand, couldn't learn a similar task, the researchers report in a paper appearing in today's issue of The Journal of Neuroscience. The researchers deleted the gene, which codes for a part of a protein involved in passing signals between nerve cells needed for learning and Read More...
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Lundbeck launches new schizophrenia drug in Europe

H. Lundbeck A/S today announced that Serdolect® (sertindole) is now available in the first country in Europe – Estonia. This is the first launch of Serdolect®, which received marketing approval for the treatment of schizophrenia from the European Commission on 20 December 2005. Serdolect® is expected to be launched in a number of countries among others the Scandinavian countries and in Germany in the first half of 2006 and in more than 15 other countries during 2006 and 2007. Serdolect was granted marketing approval for the treatment of schizophrenia by the European Commission on December 20, 2005. About Serdolect® Serdolect® Read More...
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January 16, 2006

Schizophrenia, Homelessness in Canada

Read more... Schizophrenia Housing
This writeup by the "National Union of Public and General Employees" in Canada suggests that the homeless problem in Canada is bad, and getting worse - and since a significant portion of the homeless have schizophrenia - this is a significant issue. The paper states: Homelessness is a growing problem in Canada. As successive governments have reduced social service spending throughout the country, more and more Canadians have found themselves on the streets. There are as many reasons for being homeless as there are homeless people, however, mental illness and addictions are certainly two factors. People who are homeless come Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 06:45 PM | Comments (1)

Babies born in winter are bigger, brighter

Read more... Schizophrenia Biology
The following news story out of The Independent in the UK is interesting - not least of all because it conflicts with a lot of studies that link birth of children during winter months as higher in risk for schizophrenia. They suggest (in this coverage of a new Harvard University study) that Babies born in winter are bigger, brighter and more successful. Obviously, more research is needed. The Independent states: For centuries astrologers have sworn that the time of year a baby is born plots the course its life will take. Now extensive research conducted over a seven-year period appears Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 06:40 PM | Comments (0)

Poor Mental Health linked to Poor Diet

Changes to diets over the last 50 years may be playing a key role in the rise of mental illness, a study says. There is some evidence to support this claim, in the area of schizophrenia causal factors and prevention - but its not extremely strong. Food campaigners Sustain and the Mental Health Foundation say the way food is now produced has altered the balance of key nutrients people consume. The period has also seen the UK population eating less fresh food and more saturated fats and sugars. They say this is leading to depression and memory problems, but food Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 06:37 PM | Comments (0)

Infinite Mind - Educated Consumer On-line Radio

The Infinite Mind has a good program on their web site. Here is a brief excerpt of the program coverage: Right now in the United States, tens of millions of Americans live as part of a minority group that is routinely denied jobs, housing and basic human rights. This group has no widely recognized leaders, no Martin Luther King, Susan B. Anthony or Cesar Chavez. For the 44 million Americans living with mental illness, change is coming through the efforts of unsung heroes and revolutionary, grass-roots approaches to transformation. Dr. Peter Kramer's guests include Moe Armstrong, who has schizophrenia and Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 06:33 PM | Comments (0)

Handbook on Criminalization of Mentally ill

Online Handbook Addresses Criminalization of People with Mental Illnesses A new online resource is available for mental health organizations and advocates who want to improve the response to people with mental illnesses who come into contact with the criminal justice system. The Criminal Justice/Mental Health Advocacy Handbook is a how-to guide that walks users through a well-organized series of five steps with concise pages, documented with examples from various states and localities. The first step explains how and why people with mental illnesses are over-represented in the criminal justice system and summarizes the keys to improving outcomes for them. A Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 06:26 PM | Comments (4)

January 14, 2006

Blog Reviews - Wife, Children and Schizophrenia

Some good blogs that we've recently come across: Up The Down Escalator - the life of a husband caring for his schizophrenic wife... In another blog, there is a focus on the children of the mentally ill. The blog states: There is an interesting commentary in this month's Current Psychiatry by William Campbell entitled "Remember the kids when parents are ill." He reminds us that in families where a psychiatric disorder can cause functional impairment in a parent, their ability to care for dependent children can also be somewhat compromised. While his article is short and leaves the reader wishing Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 06:38 PM | Comments (1)

Bebe Moore Campbell: 72 Hour Hold

At the link at the bottom of this description is a link to the audio recording of Bebe Moore Campbell. As the page states: Bebe Moore Campbell reads from her latest book, 72 Hour Hold In this novel of family and redemption, Keri struggles to save her eighteen year old daughter from the devastating consequences of mental illness and the bureaucracy that refuses to help her. When, out of desperation, she decides to put her daughter's fate into the hands of an unorthodox alternative to the state system, Keri begins a journey that has her calling on the spirit of Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 02:18 PM | Comments (0)

UK - Mental health artwork on display

An exhibition of artwork by people with mental health problems opened in Manchester on Saturday. "Now, Voyager" is the culmination of a project which uses art as a way of managing mental illness and helping people recover mental well-being. Works going on show at Whitworth Art Gallery include drawings, photography, sculpture and a video installation. The project has been organised by the gallery and Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust. Organisers said the show helped demonstrate the health benefits that can be gained from creative pursuits. Project artist Annie Tortora-Cailey said the project was a great experience for those Read More...
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January 13, 2006

UK Panel: Cannabis link with mental illness is small

The Guardian newspaper reported on a UK panel report on cannabis and mental illness. The panel repeats what we've reported on before - that an estimated 10% (13% estimated in Amsterdam) of schizophrenia (and related disorders) is caused by schizophrenia (which correlates to approximately 50,000 people in the UK, and approximately 400,000+ people in the US who have developed schizophrenia due to cannabis use). As a total percent of users (in the tens of millions) this is a relatively small percent. The UK panel feels that this is a low enough to not reclassify the drug as a more serious Read More...
Posted by at 10:40 PM | Comments (2)

Family bonds Boost Recovery

Read more... Schizophrenia Coping
The Schizophrenia Digest is an excellent magazine focused on schizophrenia coping (started by William J. MacPhee). Following is an example of the types of stories they cover - from a recent backissue: Family Bonds Boost Recovery Janet D.Grossman, a retired schoolteacher who lives in Sag Harbor on Long Island, recalls a visit that she made with her son, Kurt, to meet a new therapist. "It was before his first hospitalization. He was 19 then and at a point when he was acting wild, driving at night while wearing dark glasses," she says. "We all went to see this therapist together, Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 05:34 PM | Comments (3)

Rethink: Cannabis e-campaign launched

The UK Advocacy and Support group "Rethink" has launched what they are calling an "e-campaign" on Cannabis. A UK web site reported that "After writing to Home Secretary Charles Clarke earlier this month asking him to focus on the mental health risks of cannabis rather than fiddle with its legal status, Rethink now launches a cannabis e-campaign urging people to email Home Secretary Charles Clarke with their concerns before his upcoming decision on the issue." Rethink, who has been at the forefront of the cannabis campaign, has been calling for: - An investment in measures that can work to reduce Read More...
Posted by at 12:48 PM | Comments (0)

Mitochondrial DNA is abnormal in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia

A New Study suggests that Maintenance of mitochondrial DNA is abnormal in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia A new resesarch report out of Japan has reported that there are unusual mitochondrial DNA deletions in the brains of patients with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. "Several clinical, genetic and neuroimaging studies implicate mitochondrial dysfunction in the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. The report stated that: "A lack of normal age-related accumulation of this deletion in schizophrenia and increased occurrence of the common deletion in bipolar disorder have been reported," wrote C. Kakiuchi and colleagues, RIKEN. "However, even in the affected bipolar samples, Read More...
Posted by at 12:24 PM | Comments (2)

CATIE Study Helps Clinicians Tailor Schizophrenia Treatment

There is a good article in December's Psychiatric Times on how the CATIE drug comparison trial is impacting clinical drug prescriptions. The article notes: While the recent publication of Phase I results of the landmark Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness (CATIE) study enabled pharmaceutical companies and stock pundits to declare winners and losers among the marketed antipsychotics, the big winners may be clinicians who treat the 3.2 million Americans suffering from schizophrenia. "The results of the CATIE study provide the most comprehensive set of data on the pharmacologic treatment of schizophrenia ever assembled," Jeffrey A. Lieberman, M.D., a Columbia Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 11:02 AM | Comments (0)

January 11, 2006

Battling mental illness with a paintbrush

A good story from New York's "Village Voice" about how art therapy is helping the mentally ill: For the opening of this year's art show, Judith Raskin-Rosenthal was determined to make her classroom look like a real gallery. Her room was number 300, so she'd taped a sign on the door: "Gallery 300." She picked out 61 of her students' artworks and hung them on the walls. And she covered one table with a blue tablecloth, then laid out hors d'oeuvres on plastic plates. The 13 artists in the show are all clients at The Bridge, Inc., a mental-health agency Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 10:02 PM | Comments (12)

Boston Schizophrenia Research Participation Opportunity

This new study opportunity has just come in from Harvard-associated McLean Hospital in Boston. If you live in Boston, we encourage your participation to help move the scientific understanding of schizophrenia forward: Research participation oportunity for schizophrenia and schizoaffective patients in the Boston area If you have been diagnosed with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, and are in the Boston area, we invite you to participate in this study on visual perception. Participation will include two visits of about two hours each. Perception and Memory of Visual Objects research study - Details: Researchers at McLean Hospital, in Belmont Massachusetts are conducting Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 01:44 PM | Comments (5)

January 10, 2006

Titan initiates phase III trial for iloperidone

Titan pharmaceuticals has initiated a Phase III clinical study of iloperidone (Zomaril), Titan's proprietary antipsychotic agent licensed to Vanda and in development for the treatment of schizophrenia and related disorders. The study is designed as a randomized, double blind, controlled, three arm study. Patients in this multi-center study will receive iloperidone, placebo, or an active control. The study is designed to assess the efficacy, safety and tolerability of iloperidone in schizophrenic patients in acute exacerbation. The primary endpoint of the study is the reduction in the symptoms of schizophrenia as assessed by the Positive and Negative Symptom Scale (PANSS). In Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 10:11 PM | Comments (0)

January 09, 2006

Smell Deficits a possible marker for Schizophrenia susceptibility

New schizophrenia research published in December suggests that Smell identification deficits (that is, the lack of the ability to correctly identify smells) appear to exist in adolescents with psychotic disorders and are specifically related to schizophrenic features such as negative symptoms and lower intelligence, as has been seen in adults. Dr. Cheryl Corcoran and colleagues from the New York State Psychiatric Institute therefore suggest that smell identification deficits may be useful for identifying people who are susceptible to develop schizophrenia. The researchers examined smell identification, diagnosis, and neuropsychological performance and symptoms in 26 adolescents, aged between 11 and 17 years, Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 12:43 PM | Comments (0)

January 06, 2006

Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett turns 60

NOTE: See the new update on the Death of Syd Barrett, July 7th, 2006. The rock band Pink Floyd was a leading English band of the 1960s, and Syd Barrett was the creative leader of the group. He developed schizophrenia as the band's popularity was taking off, and the drug use and touring stress was peaking. People remembered this week the creative genius of Syd Barrett as he turned 60 years old this week. Interestingly the newspapers also mention another Rock legend - Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys - who also developed schizophrenia (or schizo-affective disorder) and was the Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 10:31 PM | Comments (9)

More Memory Improvement Drugs in Research

Memory Pharmaceuticals Corp. (Nasdaq: MEMY) today announced that it has entered into an agreement with The Stanley Medical Research Institute (SMRI) to develop MEM 1003, the Company's neuronal L-type calcium channel modulator, as a treatment for bipolar disorder (and in the future schizophrenia). Under the terms of the agreement, Memory Pharmaceuticals is eligible to receive up to $3.2 million from SMRI to fund the clinical development of MEM 1003 and will use these funds to support a Phase 2a trial of MEM 1003 in acute mania in bipolar disorder, which is scheduled to commence in the first half of 2006. Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 07:35 PM | Comments (1)

Saegis completes Phase IIa study

Saegis Pharmaceuticals announced this week that they have successfully completed a Phase IIa study of the new drug candidate identified as "SGS518" , a selective antagonist for the 5-HT 6 subtype of the serotonin receptor that is being developed as a treatment for cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia (CIAS). Results suggested that they should move onto the next phase of testing - and this additional testing will likely take several more years. The objective of this study was to evaluate the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of oral doses of SGS518 compared to placebo when given to schizophrenia patients stable Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 07:29 PM | Comments (0)

Student Film on Mental illness

The Albuquerque Journal (New Mexico) reported this week on a new film created by students, on mental illness. The story noted: In an effort to promote similar conversation among New Mexico's teens, Chris Schueler has produced a new documentary called "Not In My Family." High school students from Farmington, Carlsbad, Las Cruces, Española and Albuquerque contributed to the 40-minute film. Co-sponsors include the Albuquerque Journal. The film includes the stories of four New Mexico teens dealing with mental illness. ... "Kids will often be the first to recognize mental health issues in their peers," Schueler said. "If they can feel Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 07:15 PM | Comments (0)

UK may change laws again on Cannabis?

The London Daily mail reported this week that: "CHARLES Clarke yesterday paved the way for a humiliating U-turn over downgrading cannabis after finally admitting to 'serious' concerns that it causes mental illness. The Home Secretary is expected to announce a decision on the drug's return to Class B - which makes possession an arrestable offence with a criminal record - within days. But he was attacked for ' dishonesty' after claiming that evidence of the drug's potentially devastating side-effects is new. In fact, the key research which provoked Labour's second thoughts was published in Britain 14 months before cannabis was Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 05:58 PM | Comments (0)

Arkansas Jails a Dumping Ground for Mentally Ill

Psychiatrist says that Arkansas jails warehouse mentally ill Associated Press reported today that a psychiatrist testified that Arkansas jails are today, and have been for a long time, acting as a dumping ground for the mentally ill. The psychiatrist testified in a lawsuit that seeks to improve services for people with mental health problems who end up behind bars. The store stated: "Jails were a significant area of warehousing and continue to be to this day," Dr. Bob Gale of Little Rock testified Thursday in the federal trial of a case brought by a man whose ill father died in Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 05:54 PM | Comments (0)

January 03, 2006

Minnesota Course: Schizophrenia Treatment: Bridging Science to Clinical Care

There will be an educational course related to schizophrenia for mental health professionals, in Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 6 and 7th this year. Details Below: 2nd Bi-Annual Schizophrenia Treatment: Bridging Science to Clinical Care Hyatt Regency, Minneapolis, Minnesota April 6-7, 2006 The overall goal of the 2nd Bi-Annual Schizophrenia Treatment: Bridging Science to Clinical Care Conference is to review and discuss psychopharmacology, the schizophrenia/bipolar continuum, and the prodrome and early stages of schizophrenia. Audience: This conference is aimed at the active clinician - psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, nurse or case manager. Educational Objectives: Following this conference, participants should be able Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 01:28 PM | Comments (1)

January 02, 2006

Researchers discover a protein that shapes the nervous system

Read more... Schizophrenia Biology
A team of researchers led by The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), the University of Toronto (U of T) and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory have discovered a protein that is responsible for shaping the nervous system. This research was made possible with the support of a $1.5-million NeuroScience Canada Brain Repair Program. This research is reported in the December 8, 2005 issue of the journal Neuron. "The discovery of this new protein represents hope for thousands of people affected by neurological and neurodegenerative disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and schizophrenia, as well as spinal cord injury," says Michael Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 09:48 PM | Comments (3)

Interview: Pam Wagner and Sister: Divided Minds

There is a good NPR (National Public Radio) interview with Pamela Wagner and her twin sister Carolyn about their book "Divided Minds". The introduction to the interview reads as follows: "Carolyn Spiro and her twin sister, Pamela Spiro Wagner, know the devastating toll of schizophrenia and those menacing, imaginary voices firsthand. They are identical twin sisters. Carolyn is a psychiatrist and Pamela a gifted writer. Pam is also one of more than three million Americans suffering from schizophrenia. Carolyn and Pamela discuss their new book "Divided minds: Twin Sisters and Their Journey Through Schizophrenia." Listen to the interview here: (click Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 07:24 PM | Comments (1)

Housing for people who have Schizophrenia

A difficult issue for many people with schizophrenia is housing (outside of family-provided housing, which is frequently impossible or very challenging). Today there is a good story on this topic, and how it is successfully being addressed in St. Louis. Perhaps groups (like NAMI) could use this as a model housing programs in other cities and countries. Following is a short excerpt of the story. Click on the link at the bottom for the full story: At this time last year, Daniel McCormley, a tall man with a shock of white hair and piercing blue eyes, was hearing voices and Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 10:18 AM | Comments (6)

January 01, 2006

Xytis begins Phase 1 tests on New Drug for Negative Symptoms

Xytis Pharmaceuticals Ltd., (based in the UK and Switzerland) announced the dosing of the first volunteers in a phase one (I) clinical trial of XY 2401, which is primarily targeted for the treatment of negative symptoms and cognitive deficits in schizophrenia, for which currently available medications have sub-optimal safety and efficacy. This test is still just an early preliminary test - and longer term trials and comparisons over the coming years will need to be done by independent researchers to determine if it should be made available to for sale, and to determine its true, long-term effectiveness (and equally importantly, Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 09:12 PM | Comments (0)

New Med: Bifeprunox Delayed

H. Lundbeck A/S announced that the ongoing review of bifeprunox clinical data has led to a delayed submission of a registration dossier in the European Union, now aimed for 2008, depending on the completion of additional phase III comparative clinical work. Bifeprunox is a novel compound (a D2 and 5-HT1A partial agonist) for the treatment of schizophrenia and other mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder. Source: Lundbeck A/S Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 09:09 PM | Comments (0)

New Drug: ACP-103 reduced haloperidol-induced EPS

It was reported this past week by Acadia Pharmaceuticals that Acadia Pharmaceuticals, Inc., (ACAD) reported results from a phase II study that showed that their new drug prospect (that they are currently working on, named ACP-103) reduced haloperidol-induced akathisia, a debilitating extrapyramidal side effect (EPS), in patients with schizophrenia. This test is still just an preliminary test - and longer term trials and comparisons will need to be done to determine if it should be made available to the public, and to determine its true, long-term effectiveness and side effect profile. This study is one of two phase II clinical Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 08:58 PM | Comments (0)

Mayor of Albequerque Wants Manditory Treatment of Mentally Ill

Associated Press reported this week that the Mayor of Albuquerque, New Mexico (USA) wants mandatory treatment for mentally ill in that city. At schizophrenia.com we believe that this is a step forward if it is properly supported with funding to provide both medicine and psycho-social therapies and other support services.. The story reported that: "The city would be allowed to seek outpatient treatment for people with mental illness under an ordinance proposed by Mayor Martin Chavez but the plan is drawing criticism. Under the mayor's proposal, a concerned party could refer a person in need of mental health treatment to Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 08:21 PM | Comments (3)

Targacept and Astra Zeneca Agreement

It was announced this past week that Targacept and AstraZeneca have entered into an exclusive global license and research collaboration agreement for the development and commercialization of Targacept's new drug compound TC-1734 (part of the family of drugs including TC-1827) to treat cognitive deficits in schizophrenia (and Alzheimers) and other cognitive disorders. The new drug candidate is targeting similar brain receptors that are believed to be triggered by nicotine use (click here for more Nicotine and Schizophrenia news); TC-1734 is designed to act selectively on neuronal nicotinic receptors, a class of receptors that serve as key regulators of central nervous Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 08:09 PM | Comments (0)

30% stop meds due to poor response

One Third Of Patients Who Stop Treatment For Schizophrenia Early Do So Due To Poor Response A third of patients treated for schizophrenia who stop taking their medication early do so because they do not feel any significant improvement or because their symptoms are worsening. A study published today in the open access journal BMC Medicine reveals that patients with schizophrenia are three times more likely to stop treatment because of poor response or worsening symptoms, than because of adverse non-psychiatric side effects. Hong Liu-Seifert and colleagues from Eli Lilly and Company in Indianapolis, USA, analysed the reasons for stopping Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 05:14 PM | Comments (2)

Evidence of genetic overlap of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder

Read more... Schizophrenia Biology
A new scientific research study from the United States has presented presented more evidence of genetic overlap of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The study suggests that the long-standing concept that schizophrenia and bipolar disorder represent two distinct illnesses has been recently challenged by findings of overlap of genetic susceptibility for these two diseases. The researchers reported in their study an analysis of the genetic linkage analysis of chromosome 18 utilizing subjects with schizophrenia from the Central Valley of Costa Rica," scientists in the United States report," wrote C. Walssbass and colleagues, University of Texas, San Antonio. The investigators explained, "Since Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 11:03 AM | Comments (0)

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