Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Schizophrenia Relapse?

Researchers say that they may have found a red flag for schizophrenia relapse in this article. “Blood levels of a protein that helps regulate inflammation may also serve as a red flag for relapse in some schizophrenia patients, researchers said.” Inflammation can cause diabetes and other diseases so why not schizophrenia? Also they do not have a good way of determining if someone is going to relapse. “There are no good, objective measures of treatment efficacy or indicators for relapse, said Dr. Brian Miller, a psychiatrist specializing in schizophrenia at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Health Sciences University.” That would be good if you can find out before that someone is going to relapse. That would save that person and the psychiatrist some time and probably a lot of headaches.
The article says: “Researchers hope monitoring levels of interleukin-6 can fill that gap for a population in which more than half of patients don’t take their medications as prescribed, often because of side effects. The relapse rate is about 80 percent within two years in patients who don’t take their medication properly and about half that in those who do, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.” That is a lot because of the side effects. I continue to take my medication and do not suffer side effects on this new medication of Geodon. Although when I was taking moban the side effect I had was that I had to give up coffee because it brought on the symptoms. I would rather give something up that I liked rather than to lose control and bring on my mental illness. I do not like being mentally ill.
The article says: “To get a better handle on how IL-6 levels correspond to disease status, they are looking at levels in blood samples taken multiple times over several years in 305 patients enrolled in a study comparing injectable to oral medication. They also are taking one-time measurements in 80 healthy controls and comparing those levels in 240 patients who are acutely ill, stable outpatients or stable outpatients who smoke marijuana, a drug commonly abused by patients. While previous studies have excluded drug abusers, marijuana may increase inflammation, so they want to explore the relationship between IL-6 levels and its use, Miller said.” They are studying all aspects of inflammation. I’ve read before about inflammation and mental illness, although this is the first I’ve heard that they are finally studying it.
The article goes on to say: “Amazingly the contributions of “immune disturbances” to schizophrenia have been debated for about 100 years yet anti-inflammatory drugs aren’t routinely given to patients in addition to their antipsychotic medication, Miller said. Part of the problem is physicians still have no idea what percentage of patients with this very heterogeneous disease have evidence of increased inflammation. In fact, no two patients have the exact constellation of symptoms considered disease hallmarks, such as hallucinations, delusions, disorganized speech and thinking, he said.” So not everybody with schizophrenia will have this inflammation and be able to use the drugs that would help and for how long?
They go on to say: “But mounting evidence suggests inflammation’s impact in schizophrenia. A British study of 50 patients experiencing their first episode of schizophrenia behavior found a handful had indicators of an immune response to their brains, called autoantibodies, and no other conditions, such as brain infection, to explain them. What amounts to a chronic low-grade flu has been found in some patients and a rare immune system disorders such as Sjogrens syndrome, which attacks moisture-producing glands resulting in dry eyes and mouth, also tend to be more common in schizophrenics. Additionally, a handful of clinical trials has shown - not surprisingly - that patients with the highest levels of pro-inflammatory factors had the best response to anti-inflammatory drugs.” It is not everybody that has schizophrenia will have this inflammatory response. What they have to figure is when and how to treat the ones that does. JUST A REMINDER THAT THE RECOVERY BLOG IS MOVING TO A NEW ADDRESS: OUR NEW HOME IS:

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