Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Mental Illness and Aging

I have written on this topic before. This is always a good topic to come back to. In this article it says a new study is going to look in to why mentally ill patients die younger. “A new study fund by a $4 million grant for the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) will investigate why individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia also suffer a wide range of physiological changes.” You already suffer from a mental illness diagnoses, but to die earlier than the rest of the population is a real let down.
We all know that schizophrenic patients die at least twenty to twenty five year earlier than the rest of the population that does not have a mental illness diagnoses. The article goes on to say: “The new study will directly examine biological aging in schizophrenia by using a battery of psychiatric and medical interviews, as well as several state-of-the-art laboratory techniques. Over the course of five years, the team will annually follow more than 250 subjects, aged 26 to 65 years.” They are going to examine then for at least five years. It will be nice to find out why people are dying sooner when they have schizophrenia.
The article goes on to say: “The reason for the decrease in average lifespan in people with schizophrenia has long remained a mystery.” Hopefully, they can unravel this mystery and help people to enjoy a longer life even if they have schizophrenia. “To unravel biological mechanisms underlying faster aging, Jeste and colleagues will measure and analyze a panel of biomarkers associated with insulin dysregulation, inflammation, oxidative stress, and cell aging.” It sounds like they are going to try and figure out what is causing this faster aging. They would like to improve the lives and health of people with schizophrenia.

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