October 30, 2007

Mother's Mental Illness and Its Impact On Child Health

Research has shown that the impact of maternal mental illness is frequently severe on a child's development. A new story out of the UK discusses this impact. It states that the early experiences babies have with their mentally ill mothers "may (negatively) affect their future health and development." However, as "Dr. Susan Pawlby, of the Institute of Psychiatry in London, emphasizes," there are "complex issues surrounding the study...Among them are genetic risks, poor health practices, psychiatric medication, breast-feeding, and the physical and emotional care of the baby. Infants are entirely dependent for their health and well-being on those who care Read More...
Posted by szwriter at 07:09 PM | Comments (1)

October 29, 2007

Teen With Schizophrenia Spreads Word About Mental Illness

John Hill, a 19-year-old teenager from Idaho, is on a mission to spread the word and raise awareness about mental illness. Hill suffers from schizophrenia and was diagnosed at 17. His first symptoms were auditory hallucinations and eventually he experienced what he describes as "severe paranoia." Initially, not knowing what to do, Hill kept his symptoms a secret, but eventually broke down and told his mother. Fortunately, she was able to get him the help he needed. Now he takes medication and attends regular support groups. And although Hill still sometimes suffers from paranoia, he's made it a priority to Read More...
Posted by szwriter at 06:19 PM | Comments (5)

Patient-Rights and A Possible Smoking Ban

In the past, we've discussed the use of nicotine and its effects on schizophrenia. Some of these are positive and include its ability to improve the processing of external stimuli and combat the sedative side effects of some antipsychotic medications. However, it has also been found that people living in public institutions who suffer from mental illness are more likely to die sooner (25 years or so) than the rest of the population and these deaths are often linked to smoking-related causes. Perhaps in an attempt to ameliorate this situation the state of Connecticut plans to ban smoking on the Read More...
Posted by szwriter at 01:11 PM | Comments (6)

October 26, 2007

New Research Group Studying Brain to Determine Mental Illness

As compared to other parts of the body, we currently know little about the brain. Methods used to diagnose mental disorders are not as effective as are methods utilized to diagnose other types of health disorders such as diabetes or cancer. In fact, as neuropsychologist Robert Bilder points out in a new story featured in UCLA Today Online:"It's a little ironic that we diagnose people by talking to them...With some of these disorders, like schizophrenia, communication may be disturbed as part of the syndrome. Yet the diagnosis is based mostly on a conversation." The story discusses the "trial-and-error" treatment most Read More...
Posted by szwriter at 12:34 PM | Comments (1)

October 25, 2007

Prognosis for Schizophrenia Better in Developing Countries?

The Schizophrenia Research Forum holds online discussions where the editors of Schizophrenia Bulletin feature an entire research article along with an introduction. Their most recent featured article examines whether people with schizophrenia in the developing world are truly better off than those with the same illness in the developed world. For the article, researcher "Alex Cohen and colleagues...review(ed) 23 reports that challenge(d) the view that schizophrenia has a more benign course in developing countries." The idea of schizophrenia faring better for people in developing nations is the result of data collected during the International Pilot Study of Schizophrenia (IPSS). The Read More...
Posted by szwriter at 09:47 PM | Comments (5)

Lifestyle Choices of Children and Their Effects on Adult Health

Children's lifestyle habits can have severe, negative effects on their future physical and mental health. Many people don't pay attention to the lifestyle choices that significantly increase the risk for health problems; children who engage in sedentary lifestyles, consume high fat diets and use drugs are more likely to have health problems in later life. A new article published by the Georgetown University Medical Center suggests that "psychologists with expertise in children's health and behavior (should) take...a lead role in helping young people develop good lifestyle habits." In the case of mental health, new research demonstrates that if parents teach Read More...
Posted by szwriter at 01:34 PM | Comments (0)

Mental Health Awareness and Multicultural Approaches

A new story out of South Africa discusses multicultural perspectives of mental illness, i.e., as expected, the view and treatment of mental illness can vary from culture to culture. In the United States, May has been deemed Mental Health Awareness Month for the last fifty years. In South Africa, however, October is Mental Health Awareness Month, "and this year's focus is on how different cultures view mental health issues." The story discusses migration and its effect on the treatment and view of mental illness; for example, it states "three percent of the global population or 1 in 35 people is Read More...
Posted by szwriter at 11:49 AM | Comments (0)

October 24, 2007

Hearing "Messages" An Early Sign of Schizophrenia?

Hallucinations are one of the positive symptoms people with schizophrenia may experience. A new study conducted by Yale School of Medicine researchers followed 43 participants showing early signs of schizophrenia over a two-year period and discovered that "a tendency to extract messages from meaningless noise could be an early sign of schizophrenia." "The study published this month in the British Journal of Psychiatry reported on the 43 participants diagnosed with 'prodromal symptoms'— meaning they exhibited early warning signs of psychosis such as social withdrawal, mild perceptual alterations, or misinterpretation of social cues. Participants in the study were randomly assigned to Read More...
Posted by szwriter at 01:48 PM | Comments (1)

Schizophrenia Advocate to Receive Top Canadian Award - The Order of Canada

Alberta's Own "Beautiful Mind" to be Appointed to the Order of Canada - the highest award that can be given to a Canadian citizen. This award is typically given by the Prime Minister of Canada (equivalent to the President in the US). The Schizophrenia Society of Alberta (SSA) held a reception today to congratulate Austin Mardon. Mardon, who has schizophrenia, and who will receive the Order of Canada in Ottawa later this week in recognition of his lifetime of achievements related to advocacy efforts focused on improved treatment of people who have schizophrenia. His list of personal and academic achievements Read More...
Posted by szwriter at 12:14 PM | Comments (3)

New Research on Schizophrenia and Its Effect on Cardiovascular and Heart Disease

Read more... Schizophrenia Coping
Severely mentally ill are at a high risk for cardiovascular disease, says a new research study. A psychiatrist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis writes in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that although mortality from cardiovascular disease has declined in the United States over the past several decades, patients with severe psychiatric illness are not enjoying the benefits of that progress. In a commentary article in the Oct. 17 issue of JAMA, John W. Newcomer, M.D., reports that those with illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression lose 25 to 30 years Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 08:39 AM | Comments (2)

October 23, 2007

Teaching Social Skills to People Who Have Schizophrenia

People who have schizophrenia tend to have significant difficulty accurately judging what is going on in social situations. One of the common problems is that they jump to negative conclusions with very little information. For example if a person smiles at them, they might assume that the person is trying to be nice so as to steal something from them (a very paranoid interpretation of the event). Or if a person doesn't return one phone call within a day or two, they might think the person doesn't like them (when in fact the person was just out of town and Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 10:21 AM | Comments (0)

October 22, 2007

Depression a Common Problem in Caretakers of the Mentally ill

A new poll done by Hong Kong's family advocacy group suggests that depression is a very common problem among the family caretakers of the mentally ill. As you'll see below the challenges faced in Hong Kong are the same that are faced in other developed areas of the world. The best response to this depression is to see a doctor and get a combination of therapy (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, for example) and medications, if needed. See the link at the end of this article for resources for overcoming depression. The poll, carried out from June this year to last month Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 08:42 PM | Comments (0)

October 17, 2007

Flu during Pregnancy link with Schizophrenia Confirmed, Also linked with Autism

As we've reported in the past, the flu (influenza) and other maternal infections (for example sexually transmitted disease) during pregnancy have been linked to a significant increase in the risk of schizophrenia for the child later in life. Today a new research study came out that seems to confirm this link, and also extends the maternal infections as a possible casual factor in autism. We aren't surprised by this as maternal stress during pregnancy is another factor that has been linked to increased risk of schizophrenia and autism in children. Its important to note that these are only some of Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 08:17 AM | Comments (24)

October 10, 2007

Schizophrenia and Creativity - Article by Stuart Baker Brown

Stuart Baker-Brown, 43, blogs here at schizophrenia.com (see here for his blog) and also is a photographer and writer based in Dorset, England, was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1996. Today, on World Mental Health Day, he delivers a unique personal insight into how his condition has nurtured his artistic expression. The full article is available on the BBC News site: Read Full Story: A beautiful mind - By Stuart Baker-Brown For more information on Stuart Baker-Brown and to view his creativity at work - see his website. Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 09:19 AM | Comments (21)

Survey Shows Families More Optimistic on Treatment Outcomes in Schizophrenia (Europe)

Read more... Schizophrenia Coping
New Survey Conveys Fundamental Shift in the Perceptions of Treatment Outcomes in Schizophrenia The European Federation of Associations of Families of People with Mental Illness (EUFAMI) -- a NAMI-like organization -- Announced that a recently-completed Survey Shows Carers Across Europe Believe in Remission as a Realistic Treatment Goal for Many People Living With Schizophrenia A large majority of families who care for someone with schizophrenia are confident that many people with the disease can lead independent, fulfilling lives with the ability to have a part-time job when having optimal control over their symptoms. These results announced today on World Mental Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 08:17 AM | Comments (0)

October 09, 2007

Movie on Schizophrenia - "Canvas" hits Theaters

We've previously covered the movie on one family's experience with schizophrenia that is called "Canvas". The basic plot of the movie is a story about a child learns to work with the challenges faced in growing up with a mother wwho has schizophrenia. The movie is now launching and we encourage you to check it out, and tell others about it, and get your support group talking about it. Visit the Canvas web site for more info. Here is the message from NAMI: Just in time for Mental Illness Awareness Week (October 7-13), the movie CANVAS is being released in Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 07:45 PM | Comments (3)

October 05, 2007

Symposium "New Directions in Schizophrenia Research", New York, October 19th and 20th.

Revolutionary new methods of understanding the human brain, involving sophisticated imaging and genetic technologies, are giving rise to important new discoveries that promise better treatments for serious psychiatric illnesses. Some of the most important new insights will be shared by scientists working at the leading edge of psychiatric research who will share their findings in a free, public symposium presented by NARSAD, the world's leading charity dedicated to mental health research. NARSAD's 19th annual New York Mental Health Symposium will take place on Friday and Saturday, October 19th and 20th, at The Times Center at 242 West 41st Street, between Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 04:01 PM | Comments (1)

Eli Lilly Updates Label Warning for Zyprexa to Better Inform on Side-Effects

Eli Lilly, the maker of Zyprexa, said that new label changes were made as part of ongoing talks with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The company said that the new labels include warnings on weight gain and higher levels of triglycerides and cholesterol, while updating the information in the warning for elevated blood sugar. Eli Lilly added that it will continue to provide more information as required by the FDA. Zyprexa’s label now acknowledges that the drug appears to cause high blood sugar (which can lead to diabetes) more than other atypical antipsychotic medicines for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 03:48 PM | Comments (2)

October 03, 2007

$4 Million Raised For Schizophrenia Research at Napa Music Fesitival

We've covered the Napa "Music Festival for Mental Health" in the past - and we're happy to report that the success of the fund-raiser continued this year. The Napa valley newspaper reports that "By any standard, the 13th Staglin Family Music Festival for Mental Health was a huge success. During the September event, 500 donors and friends raised more than $4 million for research into the causes of mental disease and potential cures. The total raised so far by the event is now more than $53 million including direct gifts and leveraged grants. It’s America’s most successful wine charity event Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 12:08 PM | Comments (0)

Schizophrenia Risk Genes Affect Even Healthy Individuals

A new research study looked at the question as to whether gene variations that convey risk for schizophrenia affect apparently healthy individuals? Although these genes are present in every human, individuals may have different versions of these genes, called alleles. While many people who possess these "risk alleles" do not end up with schizophrenia, this does not mean they are unaffected by the presence of the risk allele. In the largest study of its kind to date, scheduled for publication in the October 1st issue of Biological Psychiatry, researchers sought to examine the impact of a few particular genes, known Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 10:28 AM | Comments (1)

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