May 31, 2006

Family, Schizophrenia and Faith

NAMI has a faith-oriented section of their web site at: NAMI FaithNet A recent announcement was related to a new book and streaming audio discussion by one family affected by schizophrenia. When he was 20 years old, Joel Hanson had a psychotic break. His parents, Dan and Sue Hanson, struggled with their son's schizophrenia in isolation for several years before finding NAMI. In 2004, Dan Hanson wrote about his family's experiences in a book titled Room for J: A Family Struggles with Schizophrenia. In 2005, Dan and Sue Hanson were guests on public radio's Speaking of Faith program where they Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 11:31 PM | Comments (0)

US Military starts on-line Mental Health Screening

The US Defense department recently announced that it has started to offer on-line mental health screening. While we think that the screening tests are a great addition and we congratulate them on their progressive thinking, unfortunately the screening tests do not offer any tests for schizophrenia-related symptoms. We've notified them of their missed opportunity. A recent news story reported: "Concerned by rising stress levels in the ranks, the Defense Department has quietly started an online self-screening program in hopes that anonymity will help some service members and their spouses overcome reluctance to confront possible mental-health problems. 'It's an excellent tool Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 09:09 AM | Comments (1)

May 30, 2006

Childhood Mental Health, Early Schizophrenia Treatment Video

There is an excellent website in British Columbia, Canada that is focused on Child and Youth mental health issues, and it includes a very good Internet-based TV documentary video on early treatment of schizophrenia, and the results that they are seeing with this approach. Of specific relevance is the area on "Psychosis" - which includes an easy to understand video on managing Adolescent psychosis (including schizophrenia, which is a disorder that has psychosis as one of the key symptoms). The TV documentary video is about 30 minutes long and is a comprehensive introduction - covering a number of people's own Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 05:03 PM | Comments (0)

Psychiatrists Not Meeting Schizophrenia Patient Needs

Read more... Schizophrenia Coping
It was reported last week at the American Psychiatric Association annual meeting held in Toronto that people with schizophrenia are at higher risk that their doctors will fail to provide treatment or prevention for many of the common problems that are linked to schizophrenia (diabetes, excess weight, smoking, etc.). "This is one of the most important problems" clinicians face, said Dr. Roger McIntyre, an associate professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at the University of Toronto. He says recent studies have shown that people with schizophrenia die on average 15 to 20 years earlier than expected. And they are dying from Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 04:37 PM | Comments (3)

Early Treatment Program Working in Canada

In Canada, a story by the London Free Press (Ontario) reported on the success of the local Early Schizophrenia treatment program. Unfortunately, there are a very limited number of small research centers in the US that are offering early treatment programs like the ones that are throughout Canada (and it seems unlikely that early treatment programs will ever become common in the US due to Insurance company lobbying). Following is a summary of the story: Early Treatment Helps people who have Schizophrenia; London, Ontario scientists also say that the more social supports available, the better the results. London, Ontario is Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 04:07 PM | Comments (0)

May 27, 2006

Schizophrenia Awareness Advertisement (video)

For the past five years or so we've been hearing many reports from around the world (Canada, Australia, UK, etc.) about ongoing educational efforts via TV and radio ads to get the word out to people about the early signs of schizophrenia so that people become aware of the early symptoms and can get treatment. Typically the ads include a phone number and web site where people can go to get more information, and be directed to an early treatment center if the need exists. Early treatment has been recognized as a key factor in better outcomes for schizophrenia. (see Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 07:36 PM | Comments (0)

May 21, 2006

How Much Mental-Health Care Do Insurers Have to Cover? Why is Coverage so Poor? What you can do

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has a good article in today's paper on the topic of Mental Health care insurance - and the question of "how much do insurance providers have to cover?". We address the more important issue of why insurance companies cover so little in the area of mental health care, and what you can do to change that. In the WSJ article a person asked whether there are any laws that require insurers to broaden their coverage beyond the limited number of visits to a psychiatrist or therapist that may or may not be offered in a Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 02:38 PM | Comments (0)

May 20, 2006

$9 Million to be Cut From US Mental Illness Reseach Budget

Research into schizophrenia and related mental illnesses is already greatly underfunded compared to other major disorders (see NIH funding summary). Now the US government is further reducing funding - see full news below: Source: a NAMI press release. The president of the National Alliance on Mental Illness today warned Congress that President Bush's proposed $9 million cut in the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) budget will erode progress in finding new treatments for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression -- condemning millions of Americans to chronic disability. Dr. Suzanne Vogel-Scibilia, NAMI board president, a practicing psychiatrist, and a person Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 07:51 PM | Comments (2)

Validation of Genetic Biomarker for Determining Risk of Clozapine Induced Agranulocytosis

Clinical Data, Inc. Achieves Validation of Genetic Biomarker for Determining Risk of Clozapine Induced Agranulocytosis Clinical Data, Inc. announced today that its PGxHealth division has completed the validation of a genetic marker that will help identify patients at risk for Clozapine-Induced Agranulocytosis (CIA), a potentially deadly blood disorder. The Company also announced that it is developing a commercial genetic test, an example of PGxHealth's branded Therapeutic Diagnostics, for CIA risk using this newly validated research. PGxHealth expects to launch this new genetic test in 2006. In addition, Clinical Data notes that its research team continues to work on identifying other Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 06:08 PM | Comments (1)

$2 Million more for Group Homes for Mentally ill in Canadian City

The Peterborough Examiner (Ontario, Canada)reported this week that another $2 million has been commited to fund housing for people with mental illnesses in that city (with a population of 76,000). The paper reported that the announcement was met enthusiastically, and supported their local early schizophrenia intervention program. One of the people commenting on the new housing effort was Allyson Susko, public educator and family support co-ordinator with Lynx Early Psychosis Intervention Program. She said early detection of psychiatric problems, particularly in those between 17 and 29, is changing the face of mental illness. People are recovering more quickly, and their Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 05:54 PM | Comments (0)

The University Of Jaen Uses Virtual Reality For Hallucinations Treatments

Scientists of the University of Jaen (in Spain) have announced that they are working on a new project to improve the treatment of hallucinations, by using Virtual Reality technology that acts on the attention processes of people who have schizophrenia. It is a project funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology, carried out by the "Evaluacion Psicologica" group, focused on the development of psychological methods that complement pharmacological treatments in order to try to control psychotic symptoms. Project leader Beatriz Lopez Luengo emphasised that the aim is "not to recreate the hallucinations of patients, but to train their Read More...
Posted by at 06:30 AM | Comments (0)

May 19, 2006

Excellent On-line Video on Schizophrenia Genetics & Causes

The University of California (San Diego) has recently made available a good video focused on the Genetics of Schizophrenia (and related causal factors). The video is not too technical and should be easily understandable by anyone over age 15. We highly recommend it to anyone interested in the causes of schizophrenia (and specifically on schizophrenia genetics). To view the video, click on the Play Button (arrow) at the bottom of the video window below: or go to the link directly below: The Genetics of Schizophrenia - View Video UCTV: UC San Diego 29 min 28 sec - Apr 20, 2006 Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 11:47 AM | Comments (0)

Dr. James Watson discusses search for genes linked to mental illness

There is a new video of a genetics talk given by Dr. James Watson (co-discoverer of DNA, and a parent of a son who has schizophrenia). The talk covers his early involvement in the discovery of DNA, as well as more recent work into the genetics of Autism and other brain disoders that have traditionaly been called "mental illness". The video is definitely quite scientific so may be best for people (probably college students) who have a strong interest in the genetics of brain disorders. His primary focus is on autism research they are engaged in. He touches upon other Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 10:54 AM | Comments (0)

May 18, 2006

Schizophrenia linked to limited understanding of body language

This week a new study came out in an area that has drawn increasing research during the past decade - the area that is called "social cognition" and schizophrenia. Social cognition refers to the interplay between cognition and social behavior. It includes the mental operations that underlie social interactions, including perceiving and interpreting, the intentions of others. Research is showing the people who have schizophrenia are not very good at "reading", or interpreting people's facial expressions in social situations -- compared to people who do not have schizophrenia. This research is important because scientists are finding that people who are Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 09:56 AM | Comments (2)

May 17, 2006

Work Progresses on Biological Tests for Schizophrenia

The Ness Foundation of the UK is a medical research organisation that we've reported on in the past that is currently working to develop easy-to-use test kits which can diagnose whether a person is suffering from a mental illness such as schizophrenia. The Ness Foundation has researched mental health for ten years and the group, part of the UHI Millennium Institute, has now opened its first genetics lab in Inverness. The DNA research performed at this new lab will be used to help design the skin and breath tests for schizophrenia that they are hoping to bring to market, Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 12:08 PM | Comments (0)

May 11, 2006

Two New Schizophrenia Surveys - Participate and Contribute

We've recently been contacted by two different psychology students who are doing independent research related to schizophrenia. If you have time and would like to contribute - following is information on the studies and links to their on-line surveys. Results will be posted on the web site at a later date. Survey #1 - Thoughts and Schizophrenia Who this survey is for: People who have been diagnosed with Schizophrenia: The purpose of this study is to gain an understanding of thoughts and beliefs and how those thoughts and beliefs manifest themselves. You must be at least 18 years of age Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 01:54 PM | Comments (5)

New Schizophrenia Gene Discovery - QKI

Further evidence that the QKI gene plays a role in people's predisposition to developing schizophrenia was recently reported in the scientific journal "Proceedings of the National Academy of Science" last month. This is an area of research that we've reported on previously - see Targeting synapses and myelin in the prevention of schizophrenia, as well as Bi-Polar and Schizophrenia Both Lack Myelin Genes, and also Schizophrenia caused by lack of nerve cell insulation? The good news is the at least one drug company (Astra Zeneca) feels that this research is evidence enough to invest millions of dollars and is already Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 01:20 PM | Comments (0)

Transforming Canada's Mental Health, Mental Illness and Addiction Services

The Canadian Senate just released a new report titled: OUT OF THE SHADOWS AT LAST - Transforming Mental Health, Mental Illness and Addiction Services in Canada The Globe and Mail newspaper out of Toronto noted: A Senate committee has recommended that Ottawa establish a permanent Canadian Mental Health Commission, garnering praise from numerous mental health and wellbeing advocacy groups. In a report released Tuesday, the committee also recommended that the government spend $5.36-billion to "assist in transforming the mental health system over a ten-year-period." Those funds would come from raising the excise tax on alcoholic drinks by five cents per Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 01:09 PM | Comments (0)

Violence not an anomaly for some patients with schizophrenia

The Treatment Advocacy Center ( issued a press release today highlighting some information found in the recent new study that is based on theCATIE trials data. The release notes: A comprehensive new study confirms violence is not an anomaly for some patients with schizophrenia. Researchers, using data from the National Institute of Mental Health Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness (CATIE) project, found that 19.1 pct. of participants had a violent incident in a six-month period. "This study joins a large body of scientific research confirming what we can too easily see each day in the newspaper," said Treatment Advocacy Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 01:03 PM | Comments (9)

Janssen Pharma - Seeks European Approval on Long Acting Risperdal/Paliperidone

Pharmaceuticals Business Review announced this week that Janssen Pharmaceuticals has submitted an application for approval of their new long-acting release version of their schizophrenia drug Risperdal / Paliperidone. Johnson & Johnson, via its subsidiary Janssen has filed an application to European regulators seeking approval to market its prolonged release schizophrenia drug, paliperidone prolonged release tablets. Paliperidone, which releases drug into the bloodstream steadily over a 24-hour period, is an extended release version of Johnson & Johnson's blockbuster schizophrenia treatment Risperdal. Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 01:00 PM | Comments (1)

Prenatal Exposure to Maternal Infections increase Child's Risk of Schizophrenia

This week a new study came out in The American Journal of Psychiatry that adds to the body of evidence that indicates that certain negative female health factors during conception and early pregnancy (the prenatal period) result in increased risk for the child of schizophrenia later in life. In this new study the authors examined the relation between a mother's exposure to maternal genital / reproductive infections during the period from before conception to early pregnancy, and schizophrenia in offspring, and followed 7,794 offspring of pregnancies with prospectively acquired data on maternal genital / reproductive infections from obstetric records. RESULTS: Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 12:55 PM | Comments (0)

May 09, 2006

Pregnancy / Prenatal Care Judged Poor in USA, Increasing Schizophrenia Risks

A new report suggests that prenatal healthcare in the US rates poorly compared to other modern industrialized countries. While the report is not focused on schizophrenia-specifically, we think the issues the report identifies are important because poor prenatal care has been linked to increased risk of schizophrenia and it would therefore suggest there are many instances of schizophrenia in the US that could have been avoided with better healthcare services and education of mothers prior to, and during pregnancy. The Associated Press, in their coverage of the report, stated: "Despite its superpower status, the U.S. survival rate for newborn babies Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 12:14 PM | Comments (8)

May 03, 2006

Mixed Results for Early Schizophrenia Treatment with Antipsychotic Meds

In the past decade schizophrenia researchers have been experimenting with a number of different strategies to prevent or delay the development of full-blown schizophrenia - as research suggests that it is becoming possible to more accurately identify people who are at high risk for development of schizophrenia (see the Early Schizophrenia Screening Test). At we encourage all avenues of research into prevention and delay of schizophrenia and hope that much more money will be invested in this area going forward to speed up the pace of research in this vital area. The key strategies that the researchers are currently Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 01:47 PM | Comments (2)

Survey for Sons & Daughters of Parents who have Schizophrenia

A psychology PHD student has contacted us about a online internet survey that he is doing as part of his research. We will publish the results of the survey so that everyone can learn and benefit from the research. Following is a description of the research and a link to the on-line survey: Offspring of People with Schizophrenia - Creativity and Life Satisfaction My name is David M. Stroup, I am a Ph.D. student of Clinical Psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology. I am presently conducting a research study on the relationship between creativity and life satisfaction in Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 11:34 AM | Comments (7)

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