June 29, 2007

Memory Pharmaceuticals to Initiate Medication Trial for Cognitive Impairment Associated with Schizophrenia

USA-based Memory Pharmaceuticals has announced plans for a Phase IIa proof-of-concept study of a new medication temporarily designated "MEM 3454", a nicotinic alpha-7 partial agonist, in the treatment of cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia (CIAS). The firm added that it plans to initiate the trial in the fourth quarter of this year. Memory explained that it had taken several steps to ensure full support for the program, including the expansion of its development accord with Swiss drugmaker Roche. In a recent conference call, Memory Pharmaceuticals executives had this to say about this medication program: At the moment, there are no Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 04:41 PM | Comments (1)

Mental health Insurance Coverage Progress in North Carolina

New Legislation in North Carolina that would require private insurers to cover mental health costs appears on its way to approval. Known as the mental health parity bill, it passed the Senate Health Committee with a unanimous voice vote Wednesday. It requires insurers to cover the cost of treatment for psychiatric diseases roughly as they would for physical diseases. Debates and battles over health care legislation with similar aims is ongoing in Congress. About half the states have adopted similar legislation over the past decade. The North Carolina bill is considered a major reform and a step toward ending discrimination Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 01:37 PM | Comments (0)

Supreme Court Decision: Schizophrenia & Death Penalty

The Supreme Court yesterday blocked the execution of a Texas death-row inmate who suffers from schizophrenia, in a ruling that may allow more mentally ill condemned prisoners to contest their death sentences. The court ruled in 1976 that it is unconstitutional to execute an insane prisoner, but since then no death-row inmate has succeeded in overturning a death sentence based on mental illness, and many mentally ill prisoners in Texas have been executed for crimes committed while they where delusional. This ruling removed one obstacle to such claims involving the death penalty: the fact that a prisoner's disorder might not Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 01:31 PM | Comments (1)

Antipsychotics, Schizophrenia and Diabetes Care

On Medscape Psychiatry, Dr. C. Lindsay DeVane (PharmD), incorporating the latest research, gives a nice summary and discussion about Type 2 diabetes, schizophrenia, and the use of atypical antipsychotics. With a reminder that although there may be an increased incidence of diabetes among people with schizophrenia regardless of antipsychotic use, the use of atypical antipsychotics also carries an increased risk of reduced insulin sensitivity (a factor in development of type 2 diabetes) even in the absence of weight gain. In addition, some atypical antipsychotics cause significant weight gain in some people and that, too, increases diabetes risk. Therefore, a consensus Read More...
Posted by Jeanie Wolfson at 06:45 AM | Comments (2)

June 28, 2007

SSRI antidepressants do not pose major birth defect risk

Researchers have in the past demonstrated very clearly that depression in mothers during pregnancy and while a child is very young can have negative lifelong impacts in terms of the child's development - increasing the risk of many different psychiatric disorders for the child. Now, researchers from Boston University's Slone Epidemiology Center have found that certain selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors antidepressants do not appear to increase the risk for most kinds of birth defects. The findings, to be published in the June 28, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, suggest that individual SSRIs may increase the risk Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 09:50 AM | Comments (1)

Second-hand Smoke Exposure for Pregnant Mothers Linked to Psychological Problems for Children

New research out of the University of Washington reveals that children whose mothers were exposed to second-hand smoke while they were pregnant have more symptoms of serious psychological problems compared to the offspring of women who had no prenatal exposure to smoke. Writing in the current issue of Child Psychiatry and Human Development, UW psychologists Lisa Gatzke-Kopp and Theodore Beauchaine provide the first evidence linking mothers' second-hand smoke exposure while pregnant to their children's attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and conduct disorder. Psychologists call these behaviors externalizing psychopathology and their symptoms include aggressive behavior, ADHD, defiance and conduct disorder, Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 09:28 AM | Comments (0)

Doctors Discrminate Against Ill Patients With Schizophrenia

Presented at The Royal College Of Psychiatrists Annual Meeting were the findings that doctors tend to discriminate against sick people who additionally have a psychiatric illness. Voiced at the meeting were findings that doctors tend to provide an inferior quality of care with less screening and less treatment for ill patients who carry a mental illness diagnosis. Compared to ill patients who do not also carry a mental illness diagnosis, the care is not effective. with less recommedations for drug treatment, diagnostic and investigative procedures and surgical interventions. Dr. Alex Mitchell, a consultant psychiatrist at the Department of Liaison Psychiatry Read More...
Posted by Jeanie Wolfson at 07:15 AM | Comments (6)

June 27, 2007

New Research Lab to Focus on Schizophrenia Diagnosis and Risk Identification Through Genetic Testing

A new center for research into the genes contributing to neuropsychiatric illnesses has been established at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) with a gift of $25 million from the Stanley Medical Research Institute. The new center, called the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Genomics, has the goal of being able to unambiguously identify a person's risk for schizophrenia, and to diagnose patients with psychiatric disorders, based on their DNA sequences and gene expression profiles within the next 10 years. We think that this is an entirely achievable goal given that there are already many reports coming out of research labs of Read More...
Posted by Jeanie Wolfson at 08:45 AM | Comments (0)

June 26, 2007

New Clozapine-like Medication Entering Phase II Clinical Trials

Acadia Pharmaceuticals has announced today that phase II clinical trials for its new schizophrenia medication under development has begun. New medications that are still in development are given a number to identify them, until they get to the point where they prove that they work well enough to pass the FDA tests and will be commercialized. Accordingly, this new Clozapine-like drug is for now simply called "ACP-104". ACP-104 is actually a chemical called N-desmethylclozapine, a major metabolite of clozapine (trade name Clorazil). Its development, which has been supported in part by the Stanley Medical Research Center, is designed to provide Read More...
Posted by Jeanie Wolfson at 03:01 PM | Comments (1)

Relationship and Sexual Problems Often Overlooked in Individuals with Psychosis

The annual meeting of the Royal College of Psychiatrists discussed two studies that show there may be a lack of holistic treatment for those suffering from psychosis. Holistic approaches in counseling and psychology are defined as treating the whole person rather than just the symptoms of a disease. With symptoms as severe as psychosis, everyday life problems may come second. But anyone who knows someone suffering from a psychotic illness knows that everyday stressors, relationships, and sex or intimacy can present major difficulties in their lives. Being aware that patients with a psychotic illness are not necessarily first on the Read More...
Posted by Michelle Roberts at 09:28 AM | Comments (2)

UK's Parliament Mental Health Bill Debate May Be Increasing Stigma and Discrimination

Professor Graham Thornicroft, a psychiatrist at the Institute of Psychiatry in King's College London, has recently written a book called "Shunned: Discrimination against People with Mental Illness". The book describes how discrimination and stigma can profoundly affect the lives of people with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Stigma can manifest itself in subtle ways such as in the terminology used to describe the person or their illness, or in more obvious ways - by the way the mentally ill might be treated and deprived of basic human rights. The book also summarizes Professor Thornicroft's views on how Read More...
Posted by Jeanie Wolfson at 06:20 AM | Comments (1)

June 25, 2007

MTV True Life Program Searching for People who Have Schizophrenia

We've recently been contacted by a producer at MTV's True Life program. They are planning a program on people who have schizophrenia and are looking for participants for their program. Anyone who lives in the US is a potential candidate. The MTV True Life program seems to handle the issue of serious mental illness with a reasonable level of sensitivity. To see an example of this you can view a recent True Life program they did on Autism - here: True Life - I Have Autism. This seems like a good opportunity for people who are stable and want Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 12:35 PM | Comments (3)

Students With Symptoms Of Mental Illness Often Don't Seek Help

Studies show that the incidence of mental illness on college campuses is rising, and a new survey of 2,785 college students indicates that more than half of students with significant symptoms of anxiety or depression do not seek help. This is despite the fact that resources are available at no cost on campus, said Daniel Eisenberg, assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Eisenberg and doctoral students Sarah Gollust and Ezra Golberstein conducted the Web-based survey in an attempt to quantify mental health service use and factors associated with whether or not students seek help. Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 10:14 AM | Comments (0)

Must "Recovery" from Schizophrenia Include Maintaining Employment?

In The Royal College Of Psychiatrists' Annual Meeting, focusing on "recovery" from psychiatric disorders including severe depression, bipolar, anxiety and schizophrenia, a joint paper was presented "to provide a succinct account of the meaning of recovery, its underlying principles and implications". A press release about the conference and the paper presented, stated: Recovery is seen as having at least 3 different meanings: as a spontaneous and natural process; as a response to effective treatments; and as a way of growing with, or despite, continuing disability. The focus of the paper, titled 'A Common Purpose - Recovery in Future Mental Health Read More...
Posted by Jeanie Wolfson at 05:45 AM | Comments (3)

June 24, 2007

To Fight Stigma Against Schizophrenia, Start Young with Better Education About It

A new research report suggests that bringing a person who has schizophrenia into school classrooms to talk with students might decrease stigma and improve attitudes towards people with the illness. Additionally, since schizophrenia may develop in a person's teen and young adult years while they are still in a school environment, decreasing stigma in this age group may also prepare students for helping their peers who might be developing it. The study conducted in Austria, written up in Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, investigated different aspects of the attitudes of groups of people towards people suffering from schizophrenia. At the same time, Read More...
Posted by Jeanie Wolfson at 07:30 AM | Comments (5)

June 23, 2007

Risperdal Approved for Teens with Schizophrenia

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of Risperdal (risperidone) for the treatment of adolescents (ages 13-17 years old) with schizophrenia. The FDA is asking for more information about the company's schizophrenia treatment. The company did not specify what the FDA is specifically seeking, but said it did not ask for additional studies. The manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson, will be updating the prescribing information for Risperdal accordingly. This process of Risperdal approval for teens seems like more of a formality as schizophrenia typically develops in the teen years, and Risperdal has been prescribed for over Read More...
Posted by Jeanie Wolfson at 01:20 PM | Comments (0)

June 22, 2007

New Gene Identification That Provides Clues to The Differences Between Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder

A new article published in this month's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences outlines gene variations found in people suffering from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The goal of this study was to determine more specifically the differences between these two psychiatric disorders. Finding differences in genes would hopefully lead the way to new, better, treatments. Currently many drugs created for one of these disorders is also used for the other; with often less than ideal results. Read More...
Posted by Michelle Roberts at 05:11 PM | Comments (2)

NARSAD Announces 2007 Staglin Award for Schizophrenia Research

Press Release: $250,000 grant will support pioneering research on mouse model for schizophrenia by Akira Sawa, M.D., Ph.D., of Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Sawa is an associate professor of psychiatry in the university’s Department of Neuroscience and director of its Program in Molecular Psychiatry. He is leading a pioneering effort to generate a powerful new mouse model for schizophrenia using a technique called in utero gene transfer that he has previously developed. “Dr. Sawa is a pioneer, having demonstrated that changes in the DISC1 gene that have been found in some families with major mental illnesses cause a defect in Read More...
Posted by Michelle Roberts at 04:48 PM | Comments (0)

rTMS Might Not Help Negative Schizophrenia Symptoms

The use of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to activate the prefrontal cortex of the brain has been studied as a possible treatment for negative symptoms in schizophrenia. Negative symptoms in schizophrenia are associated with the lack of important abilities. Examples include affective flattening, poverty of speech, low energy, and low motivation. These negative symptoms, or deficits, are highly resistant to improvement by neuroleptic (antipsychotic) medications. Patients on antipsychotic medications but with prominent negative symptoms were treated with rTMS for 10 days and studied for two weeks afterwards. No improvement was seen in their negative symptoms but some improvements in Read More...
Posted by Jeanie Wolfson at 02:30 PM | Comments (0)

June 20, 2007

High Non-Complaince Rate for Medication in China

A survey, conducted by the Chinese Medical Association (CMA) and the Xian Janssen Pharmaceutical Ltd found that over 7.8 million Chinese people are suffering from schizophrenia. Mental Health issues are increasing in China, some believe the competitive nature of Chinese society and the daily pressures are to blame. Between 30-40% of the 7.8 million Chinese people suffering from schizophrenia have poor drug compliance. Though this survey was partially associated with a drug company (Xian Janssen Pharmaceutical ), poor medication compliance is something patients suffering from schizophrenia may face. The paranoid and delusional nature of the disorder can increase defiance to Read More...
Posted by Michelle Roberts at 05:37 PM | Comments (0)

Three Psychiatrists Discuss How to Best Treat Schizophrenia In Developing Countries

PloS Medicine, a peer reviewed open access journal published by the Public Library of Science, showcased a debate of three psychiatrists working in India and Pakistan, Vikram Patel, Saeed Farooq, and R. Thara. They debate on how to best improve the care of the 25 million people suffering from schizophrenia in low and middle income countries. In 1990, a survey found that over two-thirds of those people were not receiving any treatment, and improving those statistics is one of the top priorities of mental health systems in low and middle income countries. “Dr Vikram Patel discusses the crucial role that Read More...
Posted by Michelle Roberts at 05:24 PM | Comments (0)

The Diagnosis and Treatment of Schizophrenia - By University of California, Davis

UC Davis Office of Continuing Medical Education has begun to put the educational videos of their medical school presentations into Google video. This specific presentation is done by Dr. Peter Yellowlees, Professor of Psychiatry at UC Davis, and focuses primarily on the diagnosis and management of schizophrenia - with an update on the new atypical antipsychotic medications. While this presentation was initially for medical school students - we believe that it will be understood by most people who have a high school or college education. If you're a parent - and are new to schizophrenia - you may find it Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 03:43 PM | Comments (0)

NAMI Chapters Putting Video Presentations on Internet

Around the world, support groups like the NAMI Chapter in Hamilton County, Ohio have regular monthly meetings with presentations from experts in treatment, recovery and prevention of mental illness, as well as from parents who have learned a great deal about how to navigate the mental health system and want to pass on the knowledge they've gained to others. Imagine how valuable it would be if these support groups started video taping these excellent presentations and offered them on the web (via google video) for everyone to benefit from, any time of any day of the year. The good news Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 03:15 PM | Comments (0)

Nicotine - Derived Medications for Schizophrenia - Update

As we've covered in our "Smoking and Schizophrenia Report", there seem to be both chemicals that can kill you, and chemicals that can help you - in cigarettes and other tobacco products. A new report on companies that are focused on taking out just the positive chemicals - and concentrating them in medications - is in this week's Wired magazine. These new medications are targeted at the "cognitive dysfunction" that is a common symptom of schizophrenia. Other approaches currently being researched that may also help people achieve some level of relief from these symptoms include medications like Provigil (modafinil) and Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 09:40 AM | Comments (1)

Some Cases of Schizophrenia May Be Linked to Active Response to Toxoplasma Gondii Infection

Much research has linked some cases of schizophrenia to genetic vulnerability combined with prenatal exposure to a one-celled parasitic organism called Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii). New research published in Biological Psychiatry has looked at teens and young adults (average age of 19) deemed to be at ultra-high risk for developing schizophrenia, looking for correlations between severity of psychotic symptoms and possible infections of Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex virus Type 1, herpes simplex virus Type 2, and T. gondii. The results were surprising. Having antibodies to the T. gondii parasite was significantly associated with more severe psychotic symptoms, while testing Read More...
Posted by Jeanie Wolfson at 04:00 AM | Comments (0)

June 19, 2007

Nuvigil is Approved For Excessive Sleepiness - Effects in Schizophrenia to be Studied

Some patients with schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder are currently taking Provigil (modafinil) for problems with excessive sleepiness including sleepiness due to some sleep disorders. Now, the manufacturer of Provigil has just had a slightly modified version of it, called Nuvigil (armodafinil) approved by the FDA for excessive sleepiness due to narcolepsy, sleep apnea, and shift work. As these are non-amphetamine based medications that specifically target the sleep area of the brain, they are considered to be safer than stimulant medications which more broadly affect the brain and which may be contra-indicated for use in people vulnerable to psychosis. The manufacturer will soon Read More...
Posted by Jeanie Wolfson at 03:40 AM | Comments (5)

June 18, 2007

Blood Tests to Diagnose Schizophrenia Moving Towards Clinical Testing

There have, over the past year, been a number of announcements from researchers developing new blood tests for diagnosing schizophrenia and other mental illnesses (see links to the stories below). Given the level of activity in this area it is apparent that progress is being made and it seems likely that one of these tests will make it to market and begin being used in clinics, but exactly when this will happen is still unknown. This week a new announcement has been made out of Cambridge University in the UK that a blood test has been developed that could allow Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 08:30 AM | Comments (14)

June 16, 2007

Some Antipsychotic Drugs May Improve Neurocognition in Patients With Chronic Schizophrenia

In a newly published study the effects of using various antipsychotics for up to 18 months were studied and compared, in order to determine whether they improved neurocognition in the patients with chronic schizophrenia taking them (patients with schizoaffective disorder were NOT studied). The results of the randomized double-blind study, reported in the Archives of General Psychiatry that there were small but significant improvements in neurocognition after 2 months use. This effect was seen in each of the antipsychotics studied. Some differences in effect between the antipsychotics were seen, however, after the full 18 months. The studied antipsychotics were the Read More...
Posted by Jeanie Wolfson at 09:20 AM | Comments (0)

June 14, 2007

Excellent Schizophrenia Review Article

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) has provided a very good overview of schizophrenia loaded with interesting and quite current information. It talks about risk and risk reduction strategies, genetics, medications and other treatments, side-effects, and health monitoring, as well as diagnosis and mis-diagnosis of the illness (or illnesses) we call schizophrenia. All the information is interesting, but here are a few key points: A family history of schizophrenia (genetics) is the most significant risk factor for the development of schizophrenia, but a family environment with straight-forward communication and little criticism offers some protection from triggering the genetic risk Read More...
Posted by Jeanie Wolfson at 06:45 PM | Comments (1)

June 13, 2007

Combined Imaging Technique Hoped to Further Understanding of Schizophrenia

Image scanning technologies such as positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance (MR) have long been used to study progression of diseases affecting the brain, but they had never before been combined. The Washington Post reported on the use of combined PET images and MR images of the human brain. According to Dr. Bernd J. Pichler, head of the Laboratory for Preclinical Imaging and Imaging Technology at the University of Tuebingen's Department of Radiology, in Germany, this technique of taking both images simultaneously represents a leap forward in imaging capabilities. The researchers involved believe that this type of brain imaging Read More...
Posted by Jeanie Wolfson at 10:00 AM | Comments (0)

Schizophrenia Medication May Be Harmful For Elderly With Dementia

Antipsychotic medications approved for alleviating the psychosis and mania of schizophrenia and related disorders are sometimes given to control agitation and other behaviors considered to be disruptive in elderly patients with dementia. The FDA and Health Canada both issued warnings back in 2005 that the atypical (second-generation) antipsychotics, may be harmful, possibly causing death, when used to treat elderly patients with dementia. New data has now comes to light in the Annals of Internal Medicine about the dangers of using the older (typical) antipsychotic medications, and more information has been gathered about the use of the newer antipsychotics, to treat Read More...
Posted by Jeanie Wolfson at 06:25 AM | Comments (3)

June 11, 2007

Treating Schizophrenia During Pregnancy

Read more... Schizophrenia Coping
Pregnancy is a period of increased risk and vulnerability for women with schizophrenia and their future child. An article in the May issue of "Clinical Psychiatry News" reported that when contrasted with women who don't have a mental illness, women who have schizophrenia have more unwanted sex and pregnancies, much poorer prenatal care, are at a increased likelihood of being a victim of violence during pregnancy, and a reduced likelihood of having a partner or husband. These are significant disadvantages that compound the risks for mother and child in addition to the direct impact of schizophrenia. Following is a short Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 12:53 AM | Comments (1)

June 08, 2007

Mental Health Hospital Admissions Due to Cannabis up 85% in England

A new report out of the UK indicates that mental health hospitalizations due to cannabis in the England are up 85% in the 2006 calendar year, compared to the hospitalization rate in 1996. "Professor Robin Murray, professor of psychiatry at London's Institute of Psychiatry and member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: "There is no doubt that cannabis-related psychiatric problems have increased substantially. "This might be down to better recognition, but I would say these figures are just the tip of the iceberg. Its only more recently that psychiatrists have understood the importance of cannabis use." He said cannabis Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 11:43 AM | Comments (1)

Largest Genetic Study Shed Light on Some Illnesses Affecting the Brain

The UK-based Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium, has recently announced some preliminary results from the largest ever study of the complex genetics behind some common diseases. Unexpected underlying links between the diseases studied, as varied as heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis and bipolar disorder, were found. Although schizophrenia was not directly studied, some overlapping discoveries were made, and the discoveries are hoped to further the advancement of schizophrenia knowledge. According to the researchers in the journal Nature, referring to the genes associated with bipolar disorder: "Increasing evidence suggests an overlap in genetic susceptibility with schizophrenia, a psychotic disorder with many similarities Read More...
Posted by Jeanie Wolfson at 07:15 AM | Comments (1)

June 07, 2007

Tardive Dyskinesia and Tardive Dystonia - Medications Side Effects

We were at the UCSF medical school today and one of the professors mentioned that there were some Internet videos that highlighted tardive dyskinesia and tardive dystonia. We've identified one of the videos below that highlights this medication side-effect so as to make you aware of this possible problem and to be sure to watch for it and talk to your doctor immediately if you begin to experience it. Tardive Dykinesia and Dystonia have in the past been primarily linked to use of the first generation antipsychotic medications (haldol, etc.) but there seems to be a small but increasing number Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 12:45 PM | Comments (4)

June 06, 2007

Metacognitive Training Program Announced for Schizophrenia & Psychosis (MCT)

As we've covered here before psycho-social treatments are increasingly identified as an important part of a complete program of therapy for the best outcome of people who have schizophrenia (for example, see this section for Psychosocial Interventions in the Canadian Clinical Treatment Guidelines for Schizophrenia. The following is an announcement of a new psychological therapy program developed by two schizophrenia researchers (Todd Woodward, affiliated with the University of British Columbia in Canada and Steffen Moritz at the University of Hamburg in Germany). The program that is designed to help people who suffer from psychosis and schizophrenia improve their mental health. Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 11:58 AM | Comments (0)

Children's Vulnerable Brains and Mental Health

Research over the past decade has shown that the early childhood experiences can have a significant impact on the long-term brain development and mental health of people. Neuroscientists now know that people are born with certain genes and biological predispositions (due to conditions and stress in the womb, nutrition during pregnancy, and birth experiences, etc.). But research also shows that these genetic and biological predispositions only come into play if a child is exposed to certain environmental factors and stresses; and the more exposure, the greater the chance of mental health problems developing. The good news from all this research Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 09:01 AM | Comments (5)

WHO Expresses Urgent Need for Network of Community Care

Many countries are closing mental hospitals but not developing community services for the mentally ill. This leaves a vacuum in which millions of people with severe psychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are left without care. The World Health Organization (WHO) at its Global Forum for Community Mental Health held in Geneva, Switzerland (30-31 May 2007), expressed the urgent need for countries to provide a network of community mental health services. For the first time, WHO invited people living with mental disorders to attend the Forum, sending a message to countries that it is important to give a Read More...
Posted by Jeanie Wolfson at 04:35 AM | Comments (0)

June 04, 2007

Drug and Alcohol Addiction Information and Videos

With illegal drug addiction identified as one of the key risk factors, and ongoing problem, for people who have schizophrenia - its important to understand the state of the science and treatments in this area. Research suggests that worldwide there are nearly 800 million people who are addicted to a substance. (we find it strange that most 'addiction surveys' fail to recognize nicotine addiction.) HBO has, in an an effort to shed a light on this vast and growing neurosocial epidemic, has produced a new video series called "The Addiction Project". The 90-Minute film as well as 14 other related Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 04:34 PM | Comments (1)

Jailing the Mentally Ill; It Harms Them, Harms Other Inmates, and is Very Costly

People with severe psychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are being locked up in 8-by-12 foot cells in a Rockingham County (U.S. state of New Hampshire) jail for sometimes minor acts resulting from their illnesses. According to the Eagle Tribune, many inmates being held at the county jail - approximately 15% and growing - have these severe illnesses affecting their actions. Echoing a theme becoming all too familiar across the United States, jail Superintendent Al Wright says that he sometimes feels like he's running a psychiatric ward with the jail being the largest provider of psychiatric health services Read More...
Posted by Jeanie Wolfson at 11:20 AM | Comments (1)

June 03, 2007

Genes Common to Both Schizophrenia and Seizures May Cause Faulty "Check and Balance" Brain Activity

In an article in journal Neuron, research scientists revealed new functions of two genes important for human development and implicated in cancer, schizophrenia, and seizures. The genes are neuregulin-1 (NRG1) and its receptor, ErbB4. The researchers say that these same genes also help keep a healthy balance between excitation and inhibition of brain cells in the prefrontal cortex. This "check and balance" for neuron activity provides insight into both schizophrenia and seizures, and the hope is that they will provide a new target for treatment of these disorders. The researchers, led by Dr. Mei, chief of developmental neurobiology at the Read More...
Posted by Jeanie Wolfson at 09:30 AM | Comments (0)

June 01, 2007

Virtual Reality Version of Schizophrenia Experience

Both the New York Times and Wired magazine have recently written articles on the Janssen Pharmaceuticals virtual reality schizophrenia experience (which has been around for about a decade) that was recently demonstrated at the American Psychiatric Association meeting in San Diego. This software program that Janssen provides sounds like it has now been ported to the Apple computer platform and is being offered for broader audience viewing. The software simulates the "positive" symptoms of schizophrenia - the delusions and hallucinations that are commonly experienced by people who develop schizophrenia. The New York Times notes: The impact of the experience is Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 02:05 PM | Comments (1)

"Old" Versus "New" Medications for Schizophrenia

Dr. Henry A. Nasrallah, an expert in the field of schizophrenia treatment, was inteviewed by Medscape to discuss results from the Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness (CATIE) as well as Britain's Cost Utility of the Latest Antipsychotic Drugs in Schizophrenia Study (CUtLASS) studies, showing that older antipsychotics may be as effective as the newer ones, and other emerging issues in schizophrenia treatment. Dr. Nasrallah is a Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology, and Neuroscience and Director of the Schizophrenia Program at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio. He explained that the above 2 studies (CUtLASS and CATIE) have Read More...
Posted by Jeanie Wolfson at 07:20 AM | Comments (6)

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