September 26, 2006

Scientific Round Table Discussion on Mental Health

12th Annual Staglin Music Festival for Mental Health Scientific Round Table Discussion September 16th, 2006 By Demian Rose, MD, PhD As a reporter for, I recently had the pleasure of being invited to witness a round table of prominent scientists in the fields of mental and physical health. These scientists were brought together by the Staglin family to encourage constructive dialogue about the current state of scientific progress, as well as earnest collaboration between disciplines traditionally considered disparate entities. I have summarized what I felt were the major themes and action items to come out of this meeting. Themes Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 06:35 PM | Comments (1)

Schizophrenia in the Top Four Most Expensive Conditions for Medicaid

The USA's hospital bill totaled more than $790 billion in 2004, according to a new report by the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). The bill represents the total amount charged for 39 million hospital stays that year. Medicaid's top five most expensive conditions included schizophrenia, depression and bipolar disorders. Table 3. Top 20 most expensive conditions billed to Medicaid in 2004 Rank, Principal diagnosis, Cost ($ Millions) 1 Mother's pregnancy and delivery $15,909 2 Newborn infant $14,816 3 Pneumonia $3,169 4 Schizophrenia and related disorders $2,700 5 Depression & bipolar disorders $2,362 Percent Ranking and Hospital Stays Rank, Principal Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 05:34 PM | Comments (0)

September 22, 2006

Schizophrenia Education Day - Harvard/Massachusetts General Hospital, October 14

The Schizophrenia Clinical and Research Program in the Massachusetts General Hospital's (MGH) Department of Psychiatry is holding its Fourth Annual Schizophrenia Education Day, a free public education event, on Saturday, October 14, 2006. Massachusetts General is a Harvard-affiliated hospital located in Boston. Following the event, the presentations are usually available on the Internet (as we have reported in past years - click here for last year's presentations) Registration is now open for the MGH Schizophrenia Clinical and Research Program's Fourth Annual Schizophrenia Education Day. The focus of this year's educational activities are New Research and Treatment Strategies for Cognitive Deficits Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 12:07 PM | Comments (1)

September 21, 2006

Schizophrenia Risk Genes - Interview with Dr. Daniel Weinberger, NIMH

Interview of Daniel Weinberger, MD, Senior Investigator, National Institute of Mental Health by Demian Rose, MD, PhD 12th Annual Staglin Music Festival for Mental Health September 16th, 2006 Background: Dr. Weinberger is the Chief of the Clinical Brain Disorders Branch of the NIMH in 1987. His research lab focuses on basic neurobiological and genetic mechanisms of neuropsychiatric disorders, especially schizophrenia. You’ve stated that, in your opinion, the genetics of schizophrenia have recently advanced quite rapidly. Can you explain to the audience at why you feel this way? The search for schizophrenia genes, which many people even five or six Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 03:26 PM | Comments (2)

September 20, 2006

Stanford University Annual Schizophrenia & Bipolar Disorder Education Day

On Oct. 1, the Stanford University School of Medicine is hosting its second annual Schizophrenia and Bipolar Education Day conference to raise awareness of these two common yet serious psychiatric disorders. The free event is intended for patients and their families, caregivers and anyone interested in learning more about the disorders. It runs from 8 a.m. to noon at Fairchild Auditorium on the medical school campus. The public is welcome to attend. The school's Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences hosted a similar event last year. "More than 400 people attended and assessed the program as beneficial, so we decided Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 04:53 PM | Comments (0)

September 13, 2006

Update on Integrated Psychological Treatment

Including Integrated Psychological Treatment as part of standard medical therapy for patients with schizophrenia A Summary by Victoria Cosgrove, PhD Candidate, Clinical Psychology, University of Colorado Introduction Integrative Psychological Treatment (IPT) is an effective and economical cognitive-behavioral group treatment designed to enhance overall quality of life for people with schizophrenia. It consists of six hierarchical subsections: cognitive differentiation, social perception, verbal communication, social skills, emotional management, and problem solving. Its effectiveness has been authenticated in over two dozen research studies across the world. Why is this review of interest? Although research shows that IPT works for diverse populations and in Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 04:29 PM | Comments (5)

September 12, 2006

Schizophrenia-Focused Music Festival - Napa, California, September 16th

Twelfth Annual Staglin Music Festival for Mental Health Rutherford, CA (Napa Valley) The 2006 Staglin Family Music Festival will take place on Saturday, September 16, at the Staglin Family Vineyard in California's Napa Valley, promising a day of great music, fine food and fundraising for brain and behavior research. A Scientific Symposium that is free to the public will occur between 12:00 and 2:00 PM. The symposium will include a talk by Daniel Weinberger, M.D., National Institute of Mental Health. The remainder of the Staglin Family Music Festival is for paying guests. This year's featured musical guest will be the Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 01:53 PM | Comments (5)

September 08, 2006

Barriers Facing Young People Seeking Help for First Episode Psychosis

A recently published academic journal review of young people's experiences of a first episode of psychosis shows that their decision about whether or not to seek help was influenced by their understanding of and response to early symptoms and the role played by family, police or other adults in connecting them with help. The personal narratives of eight young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who were receiving treatment from two early intervention clinics in Southern Ontario formed the basis of this study, published in Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal. The authors’ goal was to better understand the factors that Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 11:06 AM | Comments (7)

September 07, 2006

California Adds $890 Million to Mental Health Services

Mental health services in California are poised to receive an unexpected amount of funding -- on the order of hundreds of millions of dollars -- as a new fund dedicated to serving the mentally ill is flush with cash, raising $890 million above estimates in the last two years. Already we've talked with schizophrenia researchers and clinicians and it sounds like significant new programs to target early identification and prevention of schizophrenia (as is already being done extensively in Canada, Western Europe, and Australia) will be initiated in the next year. This is truly good news for the mentally ill Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 12:42 PM | Comments (2)

Mental Illness Education and Family Training Classes

Each September in the US and Canada, support and advocacy groups (NAMI in the US, Schizophrenia Society in Canada) begin a new series of educational and support classes for family members (parents, siblings, etc.) of people who have mental illness. These 12-week long courses are called the "Family to Family" series of educational classes - which use good science-based information, as well as solid information on local resources to help you get the best treatment for mental illnesses. The classes are free to everyone - and we highly encourage you to participate in these classes if you can. For example Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 12:30 PM | Comments (0)

September 06, 2006

Imaging the Mind and Brain in Schizophrenia - Video

There is a good and hopeful Internet-based video presentation on the new imaging studies for the brain in schizophrenia. The presentation is by Dr. Cameron Carter of the University of California, Davis (Near Sacramento). The presentation was done for medical professionals and students at this medical school - so it is probably of most interest to medical students and psychology students who want to know more about brain imaging and schizophrenia. If you want to understand more about how brain imaging via what is called "functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)is helping improve outcomes in schizophrenia. Click on the link below Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 08:11 PM | Comments (1)

The Diagnosis and Treatment of Schizophrenia - Presentation

There is an good Internet-based presentation on the diagnosis and treatment of schizophrenia in a primary care setting (that is, the health services that play a central role in the local community, such as family doctors (GPs). The presentation includes a slide show with a streaming audio feed where experts talk about each slide as they go through the presentation. The presentation is written with doctors in mind - and there are some medical terms that I'm sure you won't understand - but if you skip ignore those terms we think many people will be able to follow it without Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 07:37 PM | Comments (2)

New Risk Factor for Schizophrenia Identified in Study- HLA-B Gene

UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) scientists have discovered that infants who possess a specific immune gene that too closely resembles their mothers' are more likely to develop schizophrenia later in life. Reported in the October issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics, the study suggests that the genetic match may increase fetal susceptibility to schizophrenia, particularly in females. HLA-B is one of a family of genes called the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) complex, which helps the immune system distinguish the body's own proteins from those made by foreign invaders, such as viruses and bacteria. The developing fetus inherits Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 09:13 AM | Comments (2)

September 05, 2006

New Australian Film "Nausea" Portrays Person with Schizophrenia

There is a new student-produced film called "Nausea" that focuses on the fictional life of a person who has schizophrenia. If anyone has seen the movie - please let us know (via the comment area below) what you thought of it. The news release states: He may be a final year medical student at the University of Queensland but Ian Chinsee can also add acting to his resume. Chinsee will hit the cinema screen on Friday night when his second movie, Nausea, premieres. The Brisbane-filmed psychological thriller reveals the tale of a man who starts to suffer from schizophrenia when Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 10:51 AM | Comments (5)

Crisis for North Carolina's Mentally Ill Due to Funding Shortfall

Crisis in care for North Carolina's mentally ill: State's lack of funding and planning forces patients into adult-care homes ill-equipped to meet their needs The Charlotte Observer newspaper of North Carolina reported this weekend that "More than 100 out of about 600 adult-care homes across the state admit high concentrations of mentally ill residents, even though such facilities aren't designed to care for them." For years, experts have warned that North Carolina and other states create a dangerous mix by allowing people with mental illness, some as young as 18, to live in rest homes with frail, elderly residents. The Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 10:42 AM | Comments (0)

September 02, 2006

Caring for War's Hidden Casualties - Mental Ilnesses Triggered by War

We believe an editorial from the New Scientist magazine identifies some important points. See the following excerpt: Society has always struggled to deal fairly with the psychiatric casualties of conflict. In the first world war, the British army shot men who refused to fight, some of whom were known to have suffered from shell shock (now called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). The horrific conditions in the trenches left them so mentally damaged they could barely walk, let alone fight. It took until last week for the UK government to decide that an injustice had been done, and that those shot Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 12:01 PM | Comments (1)

Australian State Launches Strategy to Prevent Mental Illness

Given the continued growth in scientific research that is showing (just as with virtually all other diseases and disorders) there are significant opportunities for prevention of mental illness (by identifying those at high risk, by early identification of disorders, and by rapid and comprehensive treatment). Based on this knowledge, the Territory of Canberra, Australia has launched a three-year strategy yesterday to help prevent mental illness. This year's budget provided new funding of $758 thousand (Aus $) specifically for mental health prevention and early intervention programs. Total spending on mental health was expected to increase by more than $8 million (Aus Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 11:55 AM | Comments (1)

September 01, 2006

People with Schizophrenia Exhibit Artwork

Australia News Corporation reported the following this week: The link between mental sickness like schizophrenia and artistic creation goes back a long way. Vincent Van Gogh is just one example, although it's a matter for debate whether he was schizophrenic or suffered a bipolar disorder. Scientists are still looking for a cause and cure for schizophrenia which affects about 40,000 Australians. A major exhibition to open in Sydney later this week will explore the quandaries of living with schizophrenia with sufferers sharing their bravery and humour through artwork. Christopher Zinn reports. CHRISTOPHER ZINN: Would you be an artist if you Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 11:59 AM | Comments (3)

Low Funding of Mental Health Services in New Mexico Harms all Citizens

The Associated Press reported this week that the extremely low level of funding for mental health services in New Mexico is resulting in a bad situation for the mentally ill as well as all other citizens. The AP reported: The debate over mandated mental health care came to the fore in New Mexico after some shootings that were blamed on people with mental illnesses. It erupted again Thursday during a daylong hearing before the body that oversees publicly funded services in the state. The group was told that, based on figures compiled for 2003, New Mexico came in last in Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 11:52 AM | Comments (1)

Study Shows Substance Misuse Hinders Recovery From Psychosis and Schizophrenia

Substance misuse significantly hinders recovery from first episode psychosis (one of the key symptoms of schizophrenia), according to a new Australian research published in the British Journal of Psychiatry. The study examined 103 young people with first episode psychosis and looked at the potential effects of the misuse of drugs such as cannabis and alcohol in relation to remission and relapse of positive symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions. The study concluded that: Substance misuse was independently associated with increased risk of in-patient admission, relapse of positive symptoms and shorter time to relapse of positive symptoms after controlling for potential Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 11:36 AM | Comments (6)

Harvard Researchers Find Compounds that Stimulate Stem Cell Growth in the Brain

Read more... Schizophrenia Biology
Scientists at Harvard University have identified key compounds that stimulate stem cell growth in the brain, which may one day lead to restored function for people affected by Parkinson's disease, strokes, multiple sclerosis, and a wide range of neurological disorders (including schizophrenia). These findings, which appear in the September 2006 issue of The FASEB Journal, provide important clues as to which compounds may be responsible for causing key brain cells, neurons, to regenerate and ultimately restore brain function. The research study focused on two compounds--LTB4 and LXA4. Both play a role in inflammation and are regulators of proliferation of several Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 11:23 AM | Comments (0)

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