Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Many With Schizophrenia Say They’re Happy: Study

That is the title of this article about people with schizophrenia saying they are happy.  The article sounds good since many with schizophrenia have negative symptoms. “Even though schizophrenia is one of the most severe forms of mental illness, nearly 40 percent of people with the disorder say they’re happy, new research contends.  Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, surveyed 72 schizophrenia patients, ranging in age from 23 to 70, living in the San Diego area, and found that 37 percent said they were happy all or most of the time.  Their happiness wasn’t related to the length or severity of their mental illness, to their mental or physical status, or to factors such as age and education.  Instead their happiness was associated with positive mental and social characteristics such as optimism, resilience and lower stress levels, the researchers said.” I would guess they are not the ones that have problems due to negative symptoms.  They are just ordinary folks that have a mental illness but do not let it define them.
The article goes on to say: “The findings are valuable because these positive traits can be taught to many people, said the authors of the study, which was published online Aug. 18 in the journal Schizophrenia Research. ‘People tend to think that happiness in schizophrenia is an oxymoron,’ senior author Dr. Dilip Jeste, a professor of psychiatry and neurosciences, said in a university new release. ‘Without discounting the suffering this disease inflicts on people, our study shows that happiness is an attainable goal for at least some schizophrenia patients.  This means we can help make these individuals’ lives happier,’ Jeste added.  By way of comparison, about 83 percent of people without schizophrenia said they were never or rarely happy, compared with about 15 percent of those with the mental disorder.” If they can help make people happier then I am all for it.  I am hardly down that much although I am not happy all the time there are things that come up that makes being happy all the time less likely to happen.
The article ends with: “People with schizophrenia are clearly less happy than those in the general population at large, but this is not surprising,’ study lead author Barton Palmer, a professor in the university’s department of psychiatry, said in the news release.  ‘What is impressive is that almost 40 percent of these patients are reporting happiness and that their happiness is associated with positive psychosocial attributes that can be potentially enhanced,’ Palmer added.  The study was funded, in part, by the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) According to the NIMH, schizophrenia is a chronic, severe and disabling brain disorder.  People with the disorder may hear voices other people don’t hear, they may believe other people are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts or plotting to harm them.  This can make them withdrawn or extremely agitated.”  That in itself can make a person not to happy all the time to be controlled by symptoms.  Problems come and go to always be happy is a very good thing. I am usually happy until a problem outside my control happens.  It is a good study and happy they did it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Aim for Next-Gen Schizophrenia Drugs is Dimming Symptoms Without Side Effects

That is the title of this article about a new class of drugs for schizophrenia. “
A recently published study suggests a new class of drug may act as a dimmer switch to control schizophrenia.  The approach is heralded as a method to manage the symptoms of schizophrenia without some of the side-effects associated with current anti-psychotic medicines.  Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, and disabling brain disorder that affects one percent of the general population; however, it occurs in 10 percent of people who have a first degree relative with the disorder, such as a parent, brother of sister. The medical condition disturbs a person’s ability to think, feel, and act and is associated with distressing symptoms including hallucinations and delusions.”  I do remember the side effects when I was on Moban.  I could not drink coffee on Stelazine I would shake.  I know a lot of people with schizophrenia have these side effects and they cannot get relief from them.

The article goes on to say: “Researcher Dr. Rob Lane said all current anti-psychotic medicines block the action of dopamine, a neurotransmitter, at a brain protein called the dopamine D2 receptor, resulting in serious side effects. ‘These medications frequently result in serious side effects because this protein is also important for the control of movement.  The side effects can sometimes persist even after the patient has stopped taking the medication,’ said Lane. Co-lead researcher Arthur Christopoulos, Ph.D., said gaining a better understanding of the biology of schizophrenia will lead to more effective drugs.”  Let’s really hope so because the side-effects can make you stop using anti-psychotics.  A person does not always want to be twitching.  Even if you get off the medication it can still last. I hope they can find a dimmer switch.
The article goes on to say: “The idea behind our research is to develop a drug that doesn’t completely block dopamine at the D2 receptor, acts to subtly dial down dopamine’s effect, a  bit like a dimmer switch,’ Christipoulos said. ‘This means that if we can get just the right amount of dial-down, we could treat the symptoms of the disease and avoid some of these side-effects.  We’re a long way yet from developing a drug, but our dimmer switch approach to controlling schizophrenia means it’s conceivable we could have a whole new class of anti-psychotics in the future.’ As published in the journal Nature Chemical Biology, the research team also found a unique twist with the molecule, its mechanism of action changed depending on the arrangement of the D2 receptor in the brain.  Lane believes this represents a new approach to develop anti-psychotics, as it gives researchers more information about the protein involved in the disease.  This extra information will help researchers develop new drugs that target the protein.”  Things always take time.  We get older although if it helps someone down the line I believe that is great. I know this takes time although once they figure out what helps than they can get on to figuring how to stop the negative symptoms that trouble so many schizophrenics.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

High IQ Runs in Families with Psychiatric Issues

That is the title of this article I am writing about.  “Schizophrenia is often found in families with high rates of psychological illness.  When one member of a family has schizophrenia, the chances of other members developing psychological problems, including schizophrenia and psychosis, increase.  Some of the factors that are considered when analyzing risk for illness are family history, life stressors, trauma, and IQ.  Each of these had a unique relationship with risk and schizophrenia.” I am hoping that is not true as all I have is my grandchildren and I sure do not want them to develop it.  It does not run in my family as the only one that had is a cousin on my dad’s side.  As far as IQ my mom had some college and my dad is just smart.  I have two brothers and two sisters and none of them developed any sign of mental illness.  I think it is the hard drugs I took such as PCP.
Although the article says: “In a recent study, Kim W. Verwij of the Department of Psychiatry at the University Medical Centre Utrecht in the Netherlands sought to explore the influence and evidence of IQ in families with schizophrenia. Using a sample 696 individuals with schizophrenia and their siblings (766), Verwij compared IQ scores to those of 517 individuals with no history of schizophrenia or psychiatric issues.  Researchers collected data from all participants without schizophrenia and scored them separately.  Those with schizophrenia also completed IQ tests and their results were analyzed independently” I guess my schizophrenia must be a fluke and that is what I am hoping for because I never want one family member to go through what I have.
It goes on to say: “The results show that siblings of those with schizophrenia only had elevated IQs if they themselves had any history of mental health issues, or if other family did.  Those siblings who did not have family history, excluding the member with schizophrenia, who also had a family member with mental health issues, had higher IQ scores that the individuals with schizophrenia and no family history. Verwij believes that this suggests a high familial influence on psychiatric impairment in the participants with family illness, while those without may be more influenced by external and variable factors, such as trauma, premature birth, or other stressors. Not only do these factors create a ripe environment for psychological impairment, but they also increase vulnerability for intellectual and cognitive disability.  This study provides much needed insight into the unique association between IQ and genetic predisposition for schizophrenia.  Verweij added, ‘Since the association between IQ scores and family history of psychiatric disorder in siblings is not extensively investigated, more research is needed to further address this question’” This always lead myself to the question how I received my mental illness I know that I have it.  I went through it. I still think something else happened and I really hope that is true.   Other words I have my questions although I do not think they will ever be answered.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Sun Sensitivity

That is the title of this article after I wrote last week’s article about vitamin deficiency.  I read a lot of other schizophrenics, and I know about myself.  I touched a little on this last week one thing they did not mention is that people with schizophrenia cannot be out in the sun.  Why because they have sun sensitivity.  I have it even though I am on Geodon.  When I get out in the sun I burn and sweat just going a couple of blocks out in the sun.  That is one reason this last Sunday I took the bus I did not want to go to the store and be all burned up.
I think researchers have to ask people about these things before they just put in they do not get enough sun there is a reason behind it.  Another being talked about is that a person has to learn to love their selves. You always have to be with yourself and I learned that when I was in prison where I was locked up.  A person that is locked up can have hard time not liking themselves.  You are locked in a cell and if you do not get to know yourself and love yourself who else is.  Your family is not going to always be with you.  Sometimes you are the only person around.  We all make mistakes and we all learn sometimes not to make the same mistake twice.
To me I think no matter what I have not matter whom I have in my life I think life is always going to be hard. I do get down once in a while and wonder what I am doing how I lived so long when a lot of my friends have died young. I pushed the envelope a lot and do not understand how mostly besides doing time I came out ok.  I have schizophrenia although I do not have negative symptoms.  You would not know unless I told you. I went to college late in life. I think that was the hardest thing I ever did in life because I could not learn as everyone else I had to have a tutor. I had to say I had a disability because that was the most important thing at the time to finish college no matter what.
I did it took eight years to get a masters.  I would do my best and still it wasn’t until my masters that I learned how to get great grades my declaring that I had a disability and getting help.  No matter how hard life is you can get through it.  I believe it is harder for this generation because everything cost so much.  We did not have cell phones when I was growing up or computers and they all cost without a good job you cannot always have everything a person would want.  Work is the only way to succeed.  Hope that things always turn out for the best.