February 27, 2006

Neuroimaging Tools in Schizophrenia Diagnosis and Treatment

Psychiatric Times has a good article on how neuroimaging has, and will, impact the field of schizophrenia diagnosis and treatment. Its recommended reading for people who have an interest in the more technical aspects of neuro-imaging and schizophrenia. "Two subsequent decades of neuroimaging research have contributed enormously to our understanding of structural and functional differences between the brains of people with schizophrenia and healthy people. Imaging now offers insights into the mechanisms of action of drugs used to treat schizophrenia, and the genetic mechanisms that may be at the root of these disorders. Still, there is no "smoking gun" that Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 11:29 PM | Comments (0)

Henry Nasrallah, MD, Psych Times Teacher of the Year

The Psychiatric Times reported on their nomination for the psychiatric teacher of the year,Henry Nasrallah, MD. "Increased access to mentors and greater integration of computerization and technology into psychiatric education would better prepare psychiatric residents for academic careers to discover the causes and treatments of psychiatric brain disorders, according to Henry Nasrallah, MD, Psychiatric Times' 2005 Teacher of the Year." ..."We still have not restored function to the patients who suffer from schizophrenia. We need to get them back into jobs, schools, relationships and into being able to live life and pursue happiness like everyone else. Many of them still Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 11:25 PM | Comments (0)

New Schizophrenia Study for Ashkenazi Jews

The Mount Sinai School of Medicine (in New York) just forwarded us information on this new study they are initiating. Your Jewish ancestry may lead us to a scientific breakthrough in Schizophrenia/Schizoaffective Disorder The Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine are conducting a study on the genetics of schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. While Jews are no more likely to develop mental illness than any other group, the Jewish tradition of marrying within the faith makes the genetic trail much easier to follow. Finding the gene responsible for schizophrenia will help develop new treatments for Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 11:00 PM | Comments (1)

Top Schizophrenia Philanthropists of 2005

Slate Magazine reported that Ted and Vada Stanley were last year's top charitable contributors in the area of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. At schizophrenia.com we hope that other wealthy families will also help accelerate the program to stop this disease. Research progress is being shown on a monthly basis - but with over 100,000 people developing schizophrenia in the US each year we urgently need to accelerate the development of new therapies to prevent and cure schizophrenia. The Stanleys donated $54.4 million to the Stanley Medical Research Institute; Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory; NARSAD Mental Health Research Association; the Theodore and Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 10:32 PM | Comments (0)

Wyoming debates Mental Health Insurance

The Wyoming Tribune-Eagle covered a debate on mental health insurance coverage that is taking place in the state capital this week. Senators hotly debated a mandate Monday that would require all health insurance sold in Wyoming to include coverage for mental illness at the same level as coverage for physical illness. The body was divided between those who thought Senate File 14 would save money and reduce illness in the long run and those who thought it would raise costs, burden small businesses and increase the number of uninsured Wyomingites. In the end, the Senate passed the measure out of Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 10:24 PM | Comments (0)

Canadian Company working on Schizophrenia Genetics

Genizon Biosciences Inc. -- a Montreal genetics research firm headed by a London native, co-founded by Moroccan and U.S. scientists and largely funded by Europeans -- that history is vitally important: They believe it holds the secrets to the most common hereditary diseases in the world. Six million Quebecers can trace their roots to just 2,600 French settlers that arrived in the 17th century. Well into the 1900s, old-stock Quebecois, the so-called pure laine, largely stuck to their own -- French Catholic -- so the province has a limited gene pool. It means Quebec is an ideal place to study Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 10:22 PM | Comments (0)

New UK company focused on Schizophrenia

UK-headquartered Biofusion has announced the creation of Genophrenix, a new spin-out company from its pipeline agreement with the University of Sheffield. The unit has been formed to capitalize on the discovery of specific proteins that are involved with a key biochemical pathway implicated in a range of neuropsychiatric diseases, including schizophrenia. The initial discovery of these new proteins was the result of work carried out by Jamal Nasir, of the University of Sheffield Medical School. Biofusion owns 60% of the company. Genophrenix believes that its discovery of proteins thought to play a role in the development of schizophrenia, will allow Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 10:17 PM | Comments (0)

Psychiatrist Shortage in Alberta, Canada

The Daily Herald-Tribune (Grande Prairie, Alberta) reported this week that rural Alberta (Canada) is suffering from a serious shortage of psychiatry professionals. Peace Country Health has failed its mental health patients because it hasn't recruited more psychiatrists, says a mother whose daughter suffers from schizophrenia. "I'm really angry they've allowed this to happen," said the woman who didn't want to be named to protect her daughter. "Where the heck have they been all this time? They've obviously known there's a shortage. They obviously know there's a problem. If they're actively recruiting, how did it get to where we are now?" Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 10:15 PM | Comments (2)

New Early Treatment Centers in Vancouver BC Area

A new Early Treatment program in Vancouver, Canada is being rolled out with a major awareness campaign to help get treatment for young people showing the first signs of schizophrenia. The Vancouver Province reports this week that: A Fraser Health psychosis awareness campaign aims to encourage youth to get help through an Early Psychosis Intervention Program when they first have a psychotic episode, rather than waiting in isolation as the illness progresses. The EPI program is headquartered at Peace Arch Hospital, with clinics and support groups in Surrey, Langley, Delta and White Rock. It offers medical supervision, education, emotional support Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 10:03 PM | Comments (0)

A New Story of Siblings and Schizophrenia

There is a new book called "Relative Stranger" written by a woman who's older sister developed schizophrenia and then isolated herself from the family. The book will be available for purchase in April this year. In a recent review of the book (by The Lancet medical journal), it was stated: When Mary Loudon discovered that her semi-estranged elder sister had died, the wounds of bereavement were ripped raw by the deep sorrow of contemplating a sibling who had virtually isolated herself from her family. In an attempt to come to terms with this event, Loudon felt a compulsion to explore Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 09:39 PM | Comments (0)

Attitude toward drug therapy helps predict intervention compliance

A new research study out of Japan published in Psychiatry Research suggests that a schizophrenic patient's attitude toward drug therapy is important to predict compliance and required intervention. The study started from the well known fact that antipsychotic noncompliance is a major reason for relapse in outpatients with schizophrenia. The scientists reported that "In a 2-year follow-up study, we used the Japanese version of the Rating of Medication Influences Scale (ROMI-J) to investigate the reasons for compliance and noncompliance in outpatients with schizophrenia," As might also be predicted, ""All the outpatients were followed up for 2 years. At the initial Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 09:09 PM | Comments (0)

Harvard on Outpatient Commitment

Harvard University's Mental Health Letter has an excellent article on the issue of outpatient commitment in their March 1st issue that has just come out. In the article they state: The emptying of mental hospitals began a half-century ago with the hope that effective treatment would be available on the outside, and patients would be willing to accept it. But for many neither of those conditions has been met. Many thousands of so-called revolving-door patients consume a disproportionate share of the resources of the health care and criminal justice systems as they move between jails, prisons, emergency rooms, psychiatric hospitals, Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 08:43 PM | Comments (0)

Child Psychiatrist Shortage in US

The Los Angeles Times had a good article this past week on the shortage of child psychiatrists (especially in rural areas) in the US. The story stated: About 15 million U.S. children ages 9 to 17 are thought to have a serious mental or addictive disorder -- such as depression, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), eating disorders, early onset schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Psychiatry has long focused on adults, but knowledge about children's mental health has grown over the last two decades. New studies have helped clarify what is normal and abnormal behavior in children, while genetics research has Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 08:34 PM | Comments (1)

Couple give $1 million to Housing Options

Read more... Schizophrenia Housing
Couple give $1 million to Housing Options BY KAREN BERKOWITZ (PioneerLocal.com) Philanthropists Dayle Duchossois and Ed Fortino searched long and hard for a cause to support with a $1 million donation, just as they'd investigated many housing arrangements for their son who has schizophrenia. During their 20-year search for suitable housing, the Chicago couple became so impressed with Housing Options for the Mentally Ill that the Evanston organization was selected to receive their $1 million gift, even though their son is not directly served by the agency. The couple's donation enabled Housing Options in January to purchase an apartment building Read More...
Posted by at 10:55 AM | Comments (0)

Therapy on the farm

Following is an excellent idea - a mental health facility on a farm. This seems like an ideal model for a low-stress, low-cost longer term mental health facilities and group homes. I hope more people take up this idea and run with it. Therapy on the Farm Ian Keats of Charlottesville pets a rooster at Crossing Creeks. The mental health facility has been open since 2004. Ian Keats' journey to a more normal life has brought him to a farm north of Broadway. Whether it's feeding chickens in a small coop or washing the dishes, he sees the farm off Read More...
Posted by at 05:46 AM | Comments (1)

Facial recognition software helps treat schizophrenia

Facial recognition software helps people suffering from schizophrenia The high-tech computer software designed to help customs officers scan the faces of travellers is now being used to help patients with schizophrenia. The software can teach patients to understand facial expressions, something they often have difficulty with. For most people a smile is just a smile, but to people with schizophrenia, who have trouble interpreting facial expressions, a smile can be anything but reassuring. Researcher Dr Tamara Russell from Neuroscience Institute of Schizophrenia and Allied Disorders (NISAD) says sufferers often misinterpret the facial expression of emotion, which can lead to difficulties Read More...
Posted by at 05:17 AM | Comments (0)

February 22, 2006

San Francisco - New Early Schizophrenia Treatment Program

University of California, San Francisco announced today that they have launced a new Early Schizophrenia Diagnosis and Treatment research program for people who are showing the earliest signs of schizophrenia (and who have not yet been diagnosed by a doctor). The program administrators provided these details: San Francisco, California - PART (Prodrome Assessment Research and Treatment) Program. We provide early detection services for adolescents and young adults (age 12-35) with symptoms suggesting risk for a psychotic disorder. Our research program focuses on early identification of psychosis and includes expert evaluation, education, monitoring of symptoms, case management and referral to excellent Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 02:38 PM | Comments (2)

February 17, 2006

Mouse Model of schizophrenia Speeds Research

Read more... Schizophrenia Biology
Mouse Model of Schizophrenia May Speed Schizophrenia Research Scientists say they've developed the first-ever mouse model of schizophrenia, a step that should prove a boon to research into the debilitating disease. The genetically engineered model, described in the Feb. 16 issue of the journal Neuron, features abnormal activity of the dopamine machinery in a specific area of the brain. This results in cognitive and behavioral impairments that are similar to those experienced by people with schizophrenia. Read Full Story Read More...
Posted by at 03:00 PM | Comments (1)

February 08, 2006

Neurodevelopment and high risk of psychosis

Radiological findings suggest a disturbance of neurodevelopment in people at risk of psychosis, which may predispose them to the condition. (Note: schizophrenia is one type of psychosis). Researchers from the University Hospital Basel in Switzerland have found a higher proportion of radiological abnormalities in patients at risk of schizophrenia and those with a first episode of psychosis than in depressed and mentally healthy individuals. "The different types of radiological abnormalities in first episode patients and individuals at high risk of psychosis suggest that the underlying cerebral disruption in prodrome and psychosis may result in a propensity toward brain abnormalities," the Read More...
Posted by at 11:29 PM | Comments (0)

Debate on Treating Mentally Ill

Covering an important issue for families of people who have schizophrenia (as well as those who have schizophrenia), the New York Times reported today: Against the vivid backdrop of recent killings by mentally ill people, both sides in the national debate over whether mentally ill people who have not committed a crime can be forced into treatment are preparing for a showdown in the Legislature here. New Mexico lawmakers are considering a bill, backed by Gov. Bill Richardson, that would make the state the 43rd with a law allowing family members, doctors or others to seek a court order forcing Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 12:57 PM | Comments (1)

Mentally Ill hurt by new Medicare Changes

News from the Washington Post suggests that the Mentally ill are being signficantly harmed by new Medicare plan changes. Some prescription denials have heightened distress The Washington Post story states: Even among the incident reports crossing Craig Knoll's desk weekly now, this one stood out: A 43-year-old client of Knoll's mental health agency, a man who suffers from bipolar disorder, had come from his pharmacy frustrated to the point of meltdown. There were snags in his new Medicare drug plan. Of his four medicines, it would fill only two. ... 'We could have an epidemic' "I really don't know what Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 12:50 PM | Comments (2)

Schizophrenia syncs fast

Psychcentral reports that a flaw in how the brain synchronizes information may lie at heart of schizophrenia. The story reports that "Interconnected brain areas that use split-second timing to interpret new information suffer a communication breakdown in people with schizophrenia, a new study suggests. The finding hinges on measurements of some brain waves that arise from synchronized activity in large clusters of neurons. ... people diagnosed with their first bout of schizophrenia display a decline in neural synchrony, especially in the frontal brain, in the fraction of a second after discerning a particular tone, Williams’ team reports in the March Read More...
Posted by at 07:42 AM | Comments (0)

February 07, 2006

The Death Penalty and Mental Illness

A new report issued by Amnesty International found that at least 10% of the first 1,000 people executed in the United States since 1977 were severely mentall ill. The report noted that the National Association of Mental Health estimates that between five and 10% of the 3,400 people on death row around the country are mentally ill. Amnesty said that states are failing to address serious mental health issues before crimes occur. In a review of available psychiatric examinations, medical records, and documented cases of extreme behavior, Amnesty discovered at least 100 cases of executed prisoners during the past three Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 09:19 PM | Comments (0)

Family environment may reduce prodromal psychosis symptoms

New research suggests that a positive adolescent family environment may reduce prodromal (early stage) psychosis symptoms. (note: schizophrenia is one type of psychosis). This theme of research has been reported previously on how high stress family environments seem to significantly increase the risk of developing schizophrenia. This new research suggests that providing positive family involvement to adolescents who are in the prodromal stages of psychosis can help reduce symptoms and enhance social functioning. "Recently established methods for early detection of 'prodromal' individuals at imminent high risk for conversion to psychosis allow for investigation of additional predictive risk and protective factors," Read More...
Posted by at 03:28 PM | Comments (0)

Researchers Seek Drugs for improved Cognition

Psychiatry Online has a good story about the search for new medications that will minimize or eliminate the cogitive deficits that schizophrenia causes in many people. The story reports: Targeting cognitive impairments represents a new way of thinking about the deficits in schizophrenia as separate domains of disability, each with a unique neurobiology. Most coffee drinkers can testify to the effect of that first cup on the ability to focus and concentrate on the day's tasks. In an aging population, the ability to enhance cognition in the same way but with more lasting effects through pharmaceuticals—improving memory, sharpening attention, maximizing Read More...
Posted by at 03:20 PM | Comments (1)

Multiple drugs may not help, study suggests

Taking multiple antipsychotic drugs at the same time (known as "poly-pharmacy" in the medical profession) may not help people who have schizophrenia, a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests. Taking multiple medications (at lower dosages) for schizophrenia ia a common approach in the USA, in an attempt to get the benefits of each drug, without the side effects that are common with higher dosages. This new research does not seem to support this practice as effective. This is just one study, so more research is needed to make a more definative conclusion. In a new Read More...
Posted by at 03:01 PM | Comments (1)

rTMS improves schizophrenia patients

A new study done by researchers in France suggests that repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) can improve functioning in hallucinating schizophrenia patients. This is one more of a number of positive studies in this area that have been reported on in the past year. rTMS has already been approved by for treatment of depression in some countries, and given the ongoing positive results being reported it seems likely that this treatment will likely be offered to the public in the coming year or two for schizophrenia. The Study, reported on in Psychiatry Source news, states that Low frequency repetitive transcranial Read More...
Posted by at 08:35 AM | Comments (1)

Marijuana induced psychosis foretells future episodes

A new report on a medical study (out of psychiatry Online) suggests that few individuals who smoke marijuana experience psychosis afterward. However, when marijuana-related psychosis does occur, it may be a warning sign that more psychotic episodes could occur. Reports from various researchers have suggested that marijuana-induced psychosis is generally short-lived and that total remission can be expected. Such reports, however, have been based on case studies, not on long-term follow-up data, according to the authors of a new, long-term study. The study found that an episode of marijuana-induced psychosis is not innocuous—it often presages subsequent psychotic episodes and a Read More...
Posted by at 05:40 AM | Comments (0)

Sunlight, suicide and schizophrenia

Read more... Schizophrenia Coping
A story out of PsychCentral (John Grohol's site) suggests that Sunlight is positively, if counterintuitively, linked to an increased risk of suicide, while too little sun causes vitamin D deficiency, a factor newly implicated in schizophrenia. Suicides peak in May and June in the Northern Hemisphere and in November and December in the Southern Hemisphere. Indeed, the risk increases between 8 and 50 percent in each of the 20 countries surveyed by Dimitrios Trichopoulos, M.D., a professor of epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. “My suspicion is that sunlight affects suicide risk through hormonal factors like melatonin,” says Read More...
Posted by at 03:12 AM | Comments (7)

February 05, 2006

Nowhere to go,NC State hospital moving patients into area's homeless shelters

The North Carolina (US) newspaper reported that that State hospitals are moving patients into homeless shelters to save money. The paper states: Christopher Dobbins, 23, was released from John Umstead Hospital, a state psychiatric hospital in Butner, after a six-day stay in November.He was dropped off by Forsyth County deputies at the Samaritan Ministries homeless shelter in Winston-Salem carrying his clothes, his prescribed medication for clinical depression and schizophrenia, and little else. "Most people want to fight you or want to steal your stuff," Dobbins said of his second stay at the shelter. "I can't deal with the loud arguments. Read More...
Posted by at 10:36 AM | Comments (2)

February 03, 2006

New York Schizophrenia Treatment Study Opportunity

This just in from Columbia University (New York City) - News on a new study on the treatment of schizophrenia with rTMS (repetitive Trancranial Magnetic Stimulation). We encourage you to try it out, if you are in the NYC area. Its free and may help. Study Information for Protocol #4892 Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) In The Treatment Of Negative Symptoms And Social Dysfunction In Schizophrenia Patients. Research Study: Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) in The Treatment of Negative Symptoms and Social Dysfunction in Schizophrenia Patients Brief Overview: In rTMS therapy, a device called a "stimulator" provides electrical energy to Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 02:19 PM | Comments (5)

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