Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Fish oil could help prevent mental health problems in those most at risk

That is the title of this article I am reviewing today. "The results of a small study appear to show that a three month course of daily fish oil capsules could reduce the rate of psychotic disorders in young people. Eating more fish or taking regular fish oil supplements may help prevent psychosis in those most at risk, researchers claim.  A three month course of daily fish oil capsules appeared to significantly reduce the rate of psychotic disorders in young people, an improvement that seemed to persist when doctors assessed their mental health seven years later.  But while the findings are intriguing, they come from a very small study of teenagers and young adults. The benefits must now be shown in a much larger group before doctors can make any recommendations about the use of fish oils to prevent mental health problems.  Paul Amminger at the University of Melbourne reported in 2010 that a three month course of daily fish oil capsules appeared to stave off psychotic illnesses in teenagers and young adults aged 13 to 24 deemed at high risk of developing the disorders. Seven years on, his group has now revisited 71 of the original 81 participants and shown that the protective effects seem to persist.  Writing in the journalNature Communications. the scientists report that 4 out of 41 of those who took fish oil for three months had developed psychosis in the seven years since, compared with 16 out of 40 who received a placebo capsule during the trial."If they can stave off mental illness in young people I am all for it. I take it for my eyes because I have dry eyes.  Other than that I feel no difference.
The article goes on to say: "Those on the placebo wing of the trial appeared to develop psychosis more quickly than those taking fish oils, and had an overall greater likelihood of having other psychiatric disorders, the study found. Schizophrenia is one of the most common serious mental health conditions. One in 100 people in Britain experience symptoms, such as delusions, visual or auditory hallucinations, in their lifetimes, and many continue to lead normal lives. It is most often diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 35. It is called a psychotic illness, and those affected sometimes cannot distinguish between their thoughts and reality.  'Schizophrenia is a major cause of disability, but early treatment has been linked to better outcomes. Our study gives hope that there may be alternatives to antipsychotic medication,' Amminger told the Guardian. He believes that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) could be a stigma-free and long-term way to prevent psychosis in young people who are most at risk, with minimal side effects. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for healthy brain development and function, and a lack of them in the diet has been linked to various mental health conditions. 'Eating more fish is not only likely to be good for your physical health but also for your mental health,' Amminger said. In 2006, scientists working for the Cochrane collaboration reviewed the published research on the potential for fish oils to prevent schizophrenia and declared the results inconclusive. They went on to call for larger studies with more patients. Amminger agreed that his latest findings need to be replicated in larger groups of people before any firm guidance can be given." If they can find something without all the side effects it would be great. I also take two five hundred cinnamon capsules with breakfast that help keep my diabetes number down so I do not have to take medication.  My AC1 numbers before taking it were 5.5 now and I did not take it the whole three months are 5.4
The article ends with: "Clive Adams, co-ordinating editor of the Cochrane Schizophrenia Group at Nottingham University said the study needed to be considered alongside other published trials on the effects of omega-3 oils, but added that it was a springboard for new trials on the treatments. “The road of treatment of people with schizophrenia is paved with many good intentions and false dawns. This study is important, undertaken by leaders in the field, but it does not provide strong enough proof to really change practice,” he said." It sounds good but can they use it to make other psychotic medication?

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Brain game 'improves lives of schizophrenia patients'

That is the title of this short blog I am reviewing today. "A computer-based brain-training game could improve the daily lives of people with schizophrenia, say University of Cambridge researchers.
Tests on a small number of patients who played the game over four weeks found improvements in memory and learning. This could help people to get back to work or studying after a diagnosis.
Schizophrenia is a mental health condition that causes a range of psychological symptoms, from behaviour changes to hallucinations. Many patients also experience cognition problems, which affect their memory and ability to function independently. Designed and developed by researchers at Cambridge with the help of patients, the brain-training game has a wizard theme with various levels of difficulty. It asks players to enter rooms, find items in boxes and remember where they put them, testing their so-called episodic memory." I know the one I tried years ago did improve my memory.  Although when my boss left the company and we switched computers I lost that training.
The article ends with: "Better-equipped
Prof Barbara Sahakian, from the department of psychiatry at the University of Cambridge and who researched the impact of the game, said patients who played it made significantly fewer errors in tests afterwards on their memory and brain functioning. She said this was an indication that they were better prepared to function in the real world. Prof Sahakian said treating the cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia was important, but slow progress was being made towards developing a drug treatment. She added that the memory game could help where drugs had so far failed - with no side-effects. 'Because the game is interesting, even those patients with a general lack of motivation are spurred on to continue the training.' The game is available as an app that anyone can play.
Although the results are promising, the research team said more research was needed on larger groups of patients to confirm the findings. The researchers added that any memory training games had to be used in conjunction with medication and psychological therapies." That would be the important part wanting to continue to use the game.  A co-worker who also did it with me said it is just remembering and did not like doing it every morning. To me it was a challenge to see how far I could go on the game and how high my score was.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


That is the topic of today's blog. It is something that we all have to have especially in times of trouble. I have been going through a health crisis for me.  I know that it is hard to keep hope alive when everything seems bad. I have not been able to take my walks or do the things I normally like to do.  That is hard on me as you know if you read my blogs. The trouble I have had is because of my lungs first they diagnosed me with bronchitis and then walking pneumonia.  Then they had to take a lot of tests and whatever was in my lungs was causing me not to breathe as good as normal.
It really took a lot out of me. Yesterday I had a biopsy and they have not found the results yet but they have took enough that I feel better. Finally the doctor sounded Optimistic.  That is great news for me.  You have to keep hope alive.  I just kept picturing all the hard times I had been through before and how I had overcome them.  One of those things was at one time in my life I was facing twenty four years in prison.  I was very upset on ones of those court days that  a friend that I had knew was serving me lunch and I did not recognize her because my head was not in the present. If I would have knew the outcome of the case I would not have been so worried and would have talked to her because she was a good friend. On that case I was acquitted of one charge and lost on the second because the Judge would not give me the law. I later appealed and of course won because everyone is entitled to the law whether if the Judge likes them or not.  Sometimes a person does not always get the answer they want right away.  You have to keep hope that you will sooner or later get the answer or whatever you need. Just keep your head high and stop feeling like there is no hope because there is.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Major New Study Rewrites the Nature v. Nurture Debate About Schizophrenia

That is the title of this article I am reviewing today. " The Lieber Institute for Brain Development (LIBD) released today the results of a study that shed new insights on the nature versus nurture interplay in schizophrenia. Findings from one of the largest studies of postmortem human brain tissue suggest that environmental influences during the prenatal period cause brain changes associated with schizophrenia, but that environmental influences in early adulthood, when symptoms of the illness typically emerge, may not be as important as originally thought. The study and its relevant findings were published today in Nature Neuroscience. The published paper, titled “Mapping DNA methylation across development, genotype and schizophrenia in the human frontal cortex,” can be found online here. Findings outlined in the paper shed new light on the potential role of environmental influences on an individual’s risk of developing schizophrenia. The role of the environment in causing schizophrenia is a hotly debated topic, with many theories focusing on the stressful environment around the early adult period that typically heralds the onset of clinical symptoms of schizophrenia. In the study, results suggest that the prenatal period, not early adulthood, is when environmental influences cause brain changes involving DNA methylation that are associated with a greater risk of schizophrenia."This is very interesting and changes a lot of the thinking that environment is what causes this when you are reaching adulthood. A lot of changes could have happened when a person mother was pregnant.
The article goes on to say: "The environment can affect human biology, e.g. how your brain responds to experience, or how your body responds to exercise, by influencing the mechanisms that turn genes on and off. One of these mechanisms is called “epigenetics,” which involves changes in the chemical structure of DNA without changes in the inherited genetic code itself. DNA methylation is an epigenetic change that signals an environmental effect. Study investigators analyzed the brain tissue of 526 subjects, including 191 individuals with schizophrenia and 335 normal subjects, to determine how DNA methylation changes in the transition from prenatal to postnatal life and how it changes during early adult life. These time periods both involve profound environmental changes, both biological and experiential. These periods also involve major changes in DNA methylation.
Unexpectedly, investigators found that changes in DNA methylation that are associated with schizophrenia and observable in the brain tissue of patients with the illness had no observable relationship to the environmental effects that might have played on the brain at the time when individuals first require treatment in early adult life – for example, when they first seem to manifest the illness. Instead, the changes were strongly linked to the early development period. “This is the first time we have been able to take a molecular snapshot of when the environment affects the brains of patients with schizophrenia,” said Andrew Jaffe, Ph.D., the study’s lead investigator." If your mother was sick with the flu or any changes could have happened.  That a person does not remember.
The article ends: "The results suggest that the epigenetic changes that leave a lasting mark in the brains of patients with schizophrenia harken back to early brain development – long before the first symptoms of the illness are recognized. In other words, the building of the brain early in life is key to understanding schizophrenia, and the events around the apparent onset of the illness “may be a red herring,” said Dr. Jaffe. 'This conclusion, while perhaps not the final verdict on the subject, is hard to resist given this remarkable evidence,' said Daniel R. Weinberger, M.D., director and CEO of the Lieber Institute for Brain Development and co-leader of the research team with Joel Kleinman, M.D., Ph.D., the Lieber Institute’s associate director of clinical sciences. 'These results have potentially far-reaching implications for how we understand schizophrenia, how we develop experimental models of this illness in scientific laboratories, how we search for new ways to prevent the disorder from happening, and how we treat it once it does.'
About the Lieber Institute for Brain Development
The mission of the Lieber Institute for Brain Development and the Maltz Research Laboratories is to translate the understanding of basic genetic and molecular mechanisms of schizophrenia and related developmental brain disorders into clinical advances that change the lives of affected individuals. LIBD is an independent, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization and a Maryland tax-exempt medical research institute affiliated with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine." They do say this might not be the final word on this. It does make sense though would be glad when the final word about this comes out.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Culturally Guided Family Therapy for Schizophrenia Helps Individual and Caregivers

That is the title of this article I am reviewing today. "Schizophrenia is a difficult mental illness that affects about one percent of the population in the United States. The condition is chronic, severe, and disabling often preventing an individual from living independently.  Approximately 60 percent of those suffering from this condition live with a relative. Despite the fact that family interventions have shown to significantly improve outcomes for individuals with schizophrenia, only about seven percent of patients with this illness receive any family therapy.  To address this void, a new culturally-informed treatment strategy focused on caregivers of people with schizophrenia as well as the individual. The protocol utilizes the cultural believes, values, and behaviors of caregivers to help them cope with the stress of caring for a loved one with schizophrenia.  'We wanted to develop a treatment intervention that taps into cultural beliefs and values that we hypothesized would make the treatment more engaging and relatable to many ethnic minorities that do not necessarily embrace the current mental health care system, said Amy Weisman de Mamani, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at the University of Miami.  'We hoped to develop a treatment that was not only aimed at benefiting patients, but explicitly focused on reducing caregiver distress as well.'"It is a good turnabout from years ago and needed.  When I first was incarcerated at the state hospital they did not like that all I did when I had the chance was talk to my family on the phone.  The doctor their asked my mom to let me go sink or swim on my own.  The did not promote family.
The article goes on to say: "Since the degree of perceived burden and emotions that we experience are tied to one’s cultural view of the world, the project examined the effect of adding culturally based segments to an already established family focused treatment for schizophrenia. For the study, participants undertook a 15-week family-focused, culturally-informed treatment for schizophrenia (CIT-S). The researchers incorporated modules on spirituality, or religion and family collectivism to already established psychoeducational and communication modules.  Sixty percent of the participants were Hispanic, 28 percent Caucasian, eight percent African American, and nearly four percent identified as “Other.” The researchers believe that the treatment is not specific to particular group, but rather may be helpful to all ethnic, racial, and cultural groups.  Study results show that the new treatment markedly reduces caregiver burden, shame, and guilt, implying an improvement in the quality of life for caregivers and patients alike.  The research appears in the journal Psychotherapy of the American Psychological Association." When you have problems sometimes only family can help you solve it. I know it was important very much when I first came back to Denver from Pueblo. If it was not for my brother I would not have found housing I was looking wrong.
The article ends: "'Caring for a patient with severe mental illness can have adverse consequences for the caregiver and ultimately for the patient,' said co-author of the study Giulia Suro, Ph.D.
'These include reduced opportunities to earn an income, socialize, and take care of one’s own personal needs.' The results show that CIT-S and the psychoeducation-only family intervention were equally and highly effective in reducing shame, although CIT-S markedly outperformed family psychoeducation in reducing caregivers’ burden and guilt. In the spirituality module, the study aimed at helping families’ access beliefs and practices that could help cope with the illness, such as prayer, meditation, volunteerism, and attending religious services. Family members that did not subscribe to any particular religious practice or belief participated in parallel exercises that didn’t specifically reference “God” or “religion.” In the family collectivism module, the study assessed and encouraged the ability of family members to develop the perspective that they are part of a unified team working towards common goals. The study is a follow-up of a study in which the authors shared the first findings about the effect of the CIT-S on patient’s psychiatric symptoms, showing that CIT-S is better at reducing patients’ psychiatric symptoms, than the psychoeducation-only intervention." Well it seems so long ago that I was out and meditation was important.  Also talking to my mom about college since she had went years ago. It helped even though I had different problems happening it helped me see I could finish and be successful.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Researchers identify molecular link between schizophrenia and diabetes risk

That is the title of this article I am writing about. " It has long been known that psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, have been associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes. In a new study published online in The FASEB Journal, a UMass Medical School research team, led by Rita Bortell, PhD, research professor of molecular medicine and Agata Jurczyk, PhD, instructor in molecular medicine, found that a shared gene (or genes) may underlie the co-occurrence of both diseases. Mutations in Disrupted in Schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) have been strongly associated with major psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, but not diabetes. This study presented the first evidence to indicate that the DISC1 gene also plays a novel, unexpected role in pancreatic beta cell survival and function. It is also the first to provide a molecular link for a prevalence of type 2 diabetes in individuals with psychiatric disorders.  To make this discovery, Dr. Bortell and her team genetically manipulated a group of mice to disrupt the DISC1 gene only in the mouse's pancreatic beta cells, not in the brain. The mice with the disrupted DISC1 gene showed an increase in beta cell death, less insulin secretion and impaired glucose regulation compared to normal mice. When these researchers studied cultured beta cells in which DISC1 expression was suppressed, they found that DISC1 works by inhibiting the activity of a specific protein, GSK3β. Lowered GSK3β activity was already known to be critical for beta cell function and survival. The research team further tested the validity of this association by inhibiting GSK3β function directly. This resulted in improved beta cell survival and restored normal glucose tolerance in mice with disrupted DISC1. These results uncover an unexpected role for DISC1 in normal beta cell physiology and suggest that DISC1 may regulate blood glucose independently of its function in the brain." More reasons for me to work harder so it does not come back.  I will do anything not to have to take that pill for diabetes.
The article goes on to say: "'It is known that individuals with psychiatric disorders may be predisposed to developing type 2 diabetes due to several interacting factors including genetics, lifestyle and medications. Based on our mouse studies, our data predict that DISC1 disruption could tip the balance toward disease," Bortell said, adding that it remains to be demonstrated in humans. "Our hope is that the association we've found linking disrupted DISC1 to both diabetes and psychiatric disorders may uncover mechanisms to improve therapies to alleviate suffering caused by both illnesses, which are extraordinarily costly, very common and quite debilitating.'"I hope they can soon find an answer to both diseases. It reeks havoc on the body with diabetes.
The article ends: "Bortell said the study points out the potential importance of evaluating new antipsychotic medications for their effects on pancreatic beta cells in addition to the brain. Diligent monitoring for diabetes in those with Psychiatric disorders is further warranted by the fact that many antipsychotic medications are also associated with an increased risk of diabetes. "We are also intrigued by the fact that diabetic individuals have higher rates of depression, which suggests that additional molecular links in brain and pancreatic beta cells may yet be discovered," Bortell said.
The full study can be found online in The FASEB Journal and will be published in print in February." The medications causes diabetes we are more susceptible to diabetes. How can we win you just have to keep fighting for what you believe you want for your life.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Those with Severe Mental Illness Rarely Tested for Diabetes Despite High Risk

That is the title of this article I am writing about. "Despite the fact that individuals with severe mental illness (SMI) are two to three times more likely to have type II diabetes than the general population, low-income patients on Medicaid are rarely screened for it, according to a new study led by the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).  The findings support growing efforts to integrate mental health services with primary care to improve diagnosis and treatment of health issues associated with mental illness, the researchers said.  Although many factors contribute to the increased risk, treatment with antipsychotic medication raises the risk for diabetes even further. The American Diabetes Association and American Psychiatric Association both recommend that physicians conduct annual diabetes screening for any patients taking antipsychotic medications, but until now it has been unclear how often screenings actually occur.  For the study, researchers examined diabetes screenings in a group of 50,915 publicly insured adults with SMI who were on antipsychotic medication. The findings showed that over 70 percent of these patients did not receive a diabetes-specific test. However, those who had at least one primary care visit in addition to mental health services were twice as likely to be screened.  Our health care system is fragmented for people with mental illness. For example, the mental health electronic medical record is totally separate from their primary care electronic record, truly limiting the quality of care this vulnerable population can receive,' said Christina Mangurian, M.D., M.A.S., associate professor of clinical psychiatry at the UCSF School of Medicine and lead author of the study."I have labs done every three months. I diet controlled diabetes.  My doctor said because of the antipsychotic medicine I have to work harder to control that it does not come back. I walk and watch the corn fructose syrup that is a bad one I try and stay away. I do not like the taste of diet pop either.
The article goes on to say: "As a community psychiatrist, I see so many people who are untreated or under-treated for physical health problems because of this lack of integration.'  'Many of these patients are dying of premature cardiovascular disease,' said Mangurian. 'They tend to smoke cigarettes, hardly exercise, and may deal with food insecurity as a result of financial problems.'
Even further, their antipsychotic medication disrupts metabolic function, causing them to gain weight rapidly, which can lead to insulin resistance and diabetes.  The study is the first to examine diabetes screening in this high-risk population served in community mental health clinics. In an effort to integrate primary care and mental health, the California Department of Health Services’ Data and Research Committee combined public mental health and medical records during a State Quality Improvement project. This allowed the researchers to compare individuals across the two datasets.
The findings showed that about 30 percent of the patients with severe mental illness received a diabetes-specific screening and about 30 percent received no medical tests at all. Patients who had at least one primary care visit were more than twice as likely to be screened for diabetes as those who did not.  Integrated health care would make it easier for patients to get screening and treatment, said study co-author Penelope Knapp, M.D., professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at University of California, Davis." I hope people with mental illness take this serious because it is.  Last week I told people in the blog that I was worried because of my lungs. I still am worried but I thought about it last night whatever is wrong I will beat it I have overcome so much in my life. I will overcome this also. Like I always say those grand kids need me and I need them.
The article ends: "'We can do better,' Knapp said. 'It’s really important for individuals with medical and mental health problems to have their health care in one system. It’s a no-brainer that these should be integrated.'  There are many factors that could explain why the majority of SMI patients in this study were never screened for diabetes, Knapp said. The study examined people with Medicaid, a program that provides health and medical services for low-income individuals and families.
'One of the barriers for not-so-wealthy people is that they can’t see two providers on the same day. If the psychiatrist prescribes antipsychotics, that person may not be able to take off work another day for a followup appointment with a physician,' Knapp said.  An integrated health care system would allow mental health and medical records to 'talk' to each other, an essential asset for patients with mental illness. If the physician could access mental health records, they could see the diagnosis and prescription and immediately understand the risk of diabetes, Mangurian said. This is especially important for young patients.  “The young adults who develop a psychotic illness in college or high school — they are the ones I’m worried about,” Mangurian said.  “Diabetes in a young adult is not on a primary care doctor’s radar. These doctors need to learn that if their patient has a diagnosis of schizophrenia or is taking an antipsychotic medication, they are at increased risk.” I let my doctor know that I am taking antipyschotic medicine and that I have paranoid schizophrenia.  It is important that you share everything if you want to get treated in the right way. You don't want something that will cause a reaction with your other medicines.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Adults with Schizophrenia at Greater Risk of Premature Death

That is the title of this article I am writing about. "Adults with schizophrenia are 3.5 times more likely to die prematurely, particularly from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, compared to the average population, according to a new study published online by JAMA Psychiatry.  Many factors contribute to the risk of premature death, including economic disadvantage, negative health behaviors, and difficulty accessing and adhering to medical treatments. Specifically, the following harmful traits are more common in those with schizophrenia than in the general population: smoking, limited physical activity, obesity, elevated blood glucose level, hypertension, and dyslipidemia (abnormal amount of lipids, such as fat or cholesterol, in the blood)."I wonder is it the antipsychotic drugs we take that could cause respiratory diseases. I wonder because I am going through something with my lungs right now.  About a month ago I was diagnosed with walking pneumonia.  Now I have to go see a  lung specialist because it has not left my lungs. I do not smoke and have not smoked in seventeen years.
The article goes on to say: "Among the 65,553 deaths with a known cause, 55,741 were from natural causes, which include a variety of diseases, and 9,812 were due to unnatural deaths, which included suicide, homicide assault, and accidents, both poisoning and non-poisoning, according to the results.
Cardiovascular disease had the highest mortality rate and accounted for almost one-third of all natural deaths. Cancer accounted for about one in six deaths. Among the other natural causes of death, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, influenza, and pneumonia had the highest mortality rates.  Unnatural causes of death accounted for about one in seven deaths with known causes, with suicide accounting for about one-quarter of the unnatural deaths. Accidents accounted for more than twice as many deaths as suicide."This is disturbing news for me. I do not want to go back on disability.  I hope I have good news tomorrow at the lung doctor.
The article ends with: "Nonsuicidal substance-induced death, mostly from alcohol or other drugs, also was a leading cause of death.  Limitations noted by the authors include not having information about key health risk factors such as smoking status, body mass index, and substance abuse.
“The results from this study confirm a marked excess of deaths in schizophrenia, particularly from cardiovascular and respiratory disease, that is evident in early adulthood and persists into later life,” writes Mark Olfson, M.D., M.P.H., of Columbia University, New York, and coauthors.
'Especially high risks of mortality were observed from diseases for which tobacco use is a key risk factor. These findings support efforts to train mental health care professionals in tobacco use prevention and treatment and in implementation of policies that incentivize smoking control interventions in settings treating patients with schizophrenia.'"That would make me give up smoking if I still smoked this is serious business. Like I have said before I have grand kids I want to see grow up.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Initial Psychotic Episode Best Managed by Team-Based Approach

That is the title of this article I am writing about. "A new project funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) suggests that first episode psychosis is best cared for using a team-based, coordinated specialty care approach.  This strategy was found to produce better clinical and functional outcomes than typical community care. Investigators also found treatment is most effective when provided soon after psychotic symptoms begin.  John M. Kane, M.D. is the leader of the RAISE Early Treatment Program, one of two studies that make up the Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Episode (RAISE) project. The team’s research is published online in The American Journal of Psychiatry.  Kane and his colleagues trained clinical staff at real-world clinics around the country to use a coordinated specialty care treatment program called NAVIGATE. The program featured a team of specialists who worked with each client to create a personalized treatment plan."I did not get help until my second episode.  If I would have recieved help the first time it would have saved me a lot of time. I do not know if I was ready to start and education at that time although I would have come around to it.
The article goes on to say: "The treatment approach was based on shared decision making between the client and team. In addition, the treatment involved family members as much as possible.
'The goal is to link someone experiencing first episode psychosis with a coordinated specialty care team as soon as possible after psychotic symptoms begin,' said Kane.  'Our study shows that this kind of treatment can be implemented in clinics around the country. It improves outcomes and the effects are greater for those with a shorter duration of untreated psychosis.'  For the study, 404 individuals with first episode psychosis enrolled in the program (223 at clinics using the NAVIGATE coordinated specialty care program and 181 at clinics using ‘typical-care’).  Patients treated at clinics using the NAVIGATE program remained in treatment longer, and experienced greater improvement in their symptoms, interpersonal relationships, quality of life, and involvement in work and school compared with patients at the typical-care sites.  Obtaining care in a timely manner was extremely important. The Kane team found that the amount of time between the beginning of psychotic symptoms and the beginning of treatment (called the duration of untreated psychosis or DUP) strongly influenced treatment outcomes."While with this program maybe I would have started college earlier.  If only the doctor that had treated me thought it was something else besides sleep depredation.
The article ends with: Half of study participants had a DUP under 74 weeks and half had longer periods of untreated psychosis. NAVIGATE patients with a DUP of less than 74 weeks had much greater improvement in quality of life and overall symptoms compared with those with a longer DUP and those in community care.  'Clearly, the take-home message here is that outcomes for young people with early psychosis are better when clinicians do the right things at the right time,' said Robert Heinssen, Ph.D., director of the Division of Services and Intervention Research at NIMH.
'Dr. Kane’s work is having an immediate impact on clinical practice in the U.S. and is setting a new standard of care.  We’re seeing more states adopt coordinated specialty care programs for first episode psychosis, offering hope to thousands of clients and family members who deserve the best care that science can deliver.'"It would help a lot get jobs and lead a decent life.  I know that some people now would give anything to be able to work or go to school.  I do not know which change me more from always being locked up.  The illness or the place I hate more than anything the state hospital.  I went through so many change reverse psychology used on me. I never want to be locked up in that place again if i was ever locked I will not use the insane clause. I'd rather go to prison.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

New Approach Advised to Treat Schizophrenia

That is the title of this article I am writing about. "More than two million people in the United States have a diagnosis of schizophrenia, and the treatment for most of them mainly involves strong doses of antipsychotic drugs that blunt hallucinations and delusions but can come with unbearable side effects, like severe weight gain or debilitating tremors.  Now, results of a landmark government-funded study call that approach into question. The findings, from by far the most rigorous trial to date conducted in the United States, concluded that schizophrenia patients who received a program intended to keep dosages of antipsychotic medication as low as possible and emphasize one-on-one talk therapy and family support made greater strides in recovery over the first two years of treatment than patients who got the usual drug-focused care.Its findings have already trickled out to government agencies: On Friday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services published in its influential guidelines a strong endorsement of the combined-therapy approach. Mental health reform bills now being circulated in Congress “mention the study by name,” said Dr. Robert K. Heinssen, the director of services and intervention research at the National Institute of Mental Health, who oversaw the research. In 2014, Congress awarded $25 million in block grants to the states to be set aside for early-intervention mental health programs. So far, 32 states have begun using those grants to fund combined-treatment services, Dr. Heinssen said. Experts said the findings could help set a new standard of care in an area of medicine that many consider woefully inadequate: the management of so-called first episode psychosis, that first break with reality in which patients (usually people in their late teens or early 20s) become afraid and deeply suspicious. The sooner people started the combined treatment after that first episode, the better they did, the study found. The average time between the first episode and receiving medical care — for those who do get it — is currently about a year and half." I wish they would have kept my medicine low dose maybe I would not be fighting all this weight.
The article goes on to say: "'As for medications, I have had every side effect out there, from chills and shakes to lockjaw and lactation,' said a participant in the trial, Maggie, 20, who asked that her last name be omitted. She did well in the trial and is now attending nursing school. Doctors praised the study results. 'I’m very favorably impressed they were able to pull this study off so successfully, and it clearly shows the importance of early intervention,' said Dr. William T. Carpenter, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, who was not involved in the study. Dr. Mary E. Olson, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, who has worked to promote approaches to psychosis that are less reliant on drugs, said the combined treatment had a lot in common with Open Dialogue, a Finnish program developed in the 1980s. 'These are zeitgeist ideas, and I think it’s thrilling that this trial got such good results,' Dr. Olson said. In the new study, doctors used the medications as part of a package of treatments and worked to keep the doses as low as possible minimizing their bad effects. The sprawling research team, led by Dr. John M. Kane, chairman of the psychiatry department at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, randomly assigned 34 community care clinics in 21 states to provide either treatment as usual, or the combined package. The team trained staff members at the selected clinics to deliver that package, and it included three elements in addition to the medication. First, help with work or school such as assistance in deciding which classes or opportunities are most appropriate, given a person’s symptoms. Second, education for family members to increase their understanding of the disorder. And finally, one-on-one talk therapy in which the person with the diagnosis learns tools to build social relationships, reduce substance use and help manage the symptoms, which include mood problems as well as hallucinations and delusions." If some one would have explained a mental illness to me when I first was ill it would have been a great help.
The article ends: "For example, some patients can learn to defuse the voices in their head — depending on the severity of the episode — by ignoring them or talking back. The team recruited 404 people with first-episode psychosis, mostly diagnosed in their late teens or 20s. About half got the combined approach and half received treatment as usual. Clinicians monitored both groups using standardized checklists that rate symptom severity and quality of life, like whether a person is working, and how well he or she is getting along with family members. The group that started on the combined treatment scored, on average, more poorly on both measures at the beginning of the trial. Over two years, both groups showed steady improvement. But by the end, those who had been in the combined program had more symptom relief, and were functioning better as well.The researchers expect to have lowered average doses in the combined program but had not yet finished analyzing that data. 'One way to think about it is, if you look at the people who did the best — those we caught earliest after their first episode — their improvement by the end was easily noticeable by friends and family,' Dr. Kane said. The gains for those in typical treatment were apparent to doctors, but much less obvious. Dr. Kenneth Duckworth, medical director for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, an advocacy group, called the findings “a game-changer for the field” in the way it combines multiple, individualized therapies, suited to the stage of the psychosis. The study, begun in 2009, almost collapsed under the weight of its ambition. The original proposal called for two parallel trials, each including hundreds of first-episode patients. But that plan was changed due in part to recruiting problems, said people familiar with the project. 'It’s been a long haul,” Dr. Heinssen added, “but it’s worth noting that it usually takes about 17 years for a new discovery to make it into clinical practice; or that’s the number people throw around. But this process only took seven years.'
 October 23, 2015 
An article on Tuesday about a study of the treatment of first-episode schizophrenia referred incorrectly to the conclusions of the study. Though it studied a program intended to reduce medication dosages, the researchers do not yet know for sure if dosages were lowered or by how much. Therefore, the study did not conclude “that schizophrenia patients who received smaller doses of antipsychotic medication and a bigger emphasis on one-on-one talk therapy and family support made greater strides in recovery.” (The study did conclude that the alternative treatment program as a whole led to better outcomes.) The article also erroneously attributed a statement to Dr. Robert K. Heinssen, who oversaw the research. It was scientists familiar with the project — not Dr. Heinssen — who said that the study’s original proposal, calling for two nearly identical trials, was changed in part because of recruiting problems. (Dr. Heinssen said that one trial was redirected, but did not say why.) And because of an editing error, the article misidentified the institution where Dr. Heinssen is director of services and intervention research. It the National Institute of Mental Health, not the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid." I just hope there is something new that can especially with the face cramping and other side effects from the medication.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Brain inflammation linked to schizophrenia

That is the title of this article I am writing about today. "A direct link has been found between brain inflammation and schizophrenia that could mark a turning point in the prevention and treatment of serious mental illness.  Scientists have shown that immune cells in the brain called microglia appear to play a key role in psychotic disorders.  Brain scans of people with schizophrenia revealed that microglia activity increased in parallel with the severity of their symptoms.  The cells, which respond to damage and infection in the brain, were hyperactive compared with those of non-psychotic individuals.  Neuroscientist Peter Bloomfield, from the Medical Research Council (MRC) Clinical Sciences Centre based at Imperial College, London, said: 'Our findings are particularly exciting because it was previously unknown whether these cells become active before or after onset of the disease.  'Now we have shown this early involvement, mechanisms of the disease and new medications can hopefully be uncovered.'  Microglia have the important job of engulfing and disposing of dead and damaged cells, infectious agents, and potentially dangerous protein fragments in the brain.  In addition, microglia act as 'gardeners', stripping away unwanted neural connections through a process known as "pruning" that alters brain wiring"  It is very interesting I would like to learn more about what they do when they are hyperactive. If it can lead to new medication that would be great.
The article continues: "One theory about the origins of schizophrenia is that it is linked to pruning, which may explain why the disease normally strikes in late adolescence when major brain re-modelling is taking place.  For the new study, 56 people underwent positron emission tomography (PET) scans which produce 3D images of brain activity by tracking a radioactive tracer.  Some of the participants were diagnosed with schizophrenia while others were either at risk of the disease or symptom-free.  The results, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, indicate that looking for signs of inflammation in the brain could provide an early warning of schizophrenia.  They also raise the possibility of new treatments that involve calming down microglia activity.  Dr Oliver Howes, head of the psychiatric imaging group at the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, said: "Schizophrenia is a potentially devastating disorder and we desperately need new treatments to help sufferers, and ultimately to prevent it."It is alright for people who get schizophrenia when they are young.  For me I did not get it to age twenty seven. Even though I feel I had symptoms at nineteen it did not fully develop until I was twenty seven.
The article ends: "'This is a promising study as it suggests that inflammation may lead to schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. We now aim to test whether anti-inflammatory treatments can target these. This could lead to new treatments or even prevention of the disorders altogether.'  Professor Hugh Perry, chair of the MRC's Neuroscience and Mental Health Board, added: 'This study adds to a growing body of research that inflammation in the brain could be one of the factors contributing to a range of disorders, including Alzheimer's, schizophrenia and depression. With this new knowledge comes the hope of life-changing treatments.'  Around one in 100 people in the UK will experience symptoms of schizophrenia in their lifetime.  The condition, most often diagnosed in the late teens and early 20s, is marked by hallucinations, delusions and disordered thoughts.  Suicide is closely linked to schizophrenia, with between 5% and 10% of sufferers ending their lives." I learned that suicide is a form of mental illness. I believe it would go along with depression.  I guess I will never know how and why I developed paranoid schizophrenia it does not run in my family.  I would like to know if alcohol and drugs caused it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Scans Show People Have a Brain 'Fingerprint,' Researchers Say

That is the title of this article I am writing about. "People appear to have their own individual fingerprint of brain activity, one that might be used to predict the risk of mental illness and see the effects of medical treatment, researchers reported on Monday.  The pattern of brain activity is consistent — and the research team at Yale University could turn it around and identify specific individuals based on the pattern.  "The patterns were different enough that we were able to pick people out of a crowd regardless of what people were doing," said Emily Finn, a graduate student who led work on the study.  They even used it to show differences in what's called fluid intelligence — quick thinking and problem solving.  'We demonstrate that it is possible, with near-perfect accuracy in many cases, to identify an individual from a large group of subjects solely on the basis of his or her connectivity matrix,' Finn's group, led by Todd Constable, director of MRI research at Yale, wrote in the journal Nature Neuroscience. The team used data from multiple functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain scans of 126 volunteers. They're all taking part in a bigger study called the Human Connectome Project, which is looking to see just how different parts of the brain work together." This sounds promising.  If they can help people with mental illness that would be great.
The article goes on to say: "They found a distinct pattern of activity in each person, which held true when they were doing something and when they were just sitting there. It's not so much showing that one brain region is connecting to another as showing that two or more regions are functioning in synchrony at certain times, Finn said. 'It's definitely not easy to see,' she said. The effect wasn't visual, but could be seen in the streams of data coming from the scans. 'It was about the pattern,' she said. 'It wasn't necessarily that people had overall strong connection strength or overall weak connection strength.' It's step towards applying the benefits of fMRI to individuals. 'In the past, in an fMRI you would image a bunch of people doing the same thing and you would average together the data from many people and see how the brain lights up,' she said. 'The dogma has always been that it is hard to get any meaningful information from a single person's scan because this method is so noisy and crude.'  The Yale team's approach found that you could, in fact, find out quite a bit about an individual from his or her fMRI.  'Characteristic connectivity patterns were distributed throughout the brain, but the frontoparietal network emerged as most distinctive,' the team wrote.  These are regions associated with fluid intelligence, Finn said." They can tell from the brain how it is working. All I have seem of MRI's is brain lighting up when we are using certain parts.
The article ends with: "These two lobes, the prefrontal and parietal, are some of the most recently evolved parts of the brain,' she said. They're linked with attention and memory. Not that this means brain scans will replace IQ tests. 'It is a lot easier to give someone an IQ test than to put them in a scanner,' Finn said. 'The real potential in this is not predicting IQ per se, but thing that are harder to predict in a test like who is going to go on to develop mental illness,' she said. 'Maybe we could find a way to predict it so we can intervene and prevent mental illness,' Finn added.  There aren't drugs or treatments that can do that now but there may be in years to come, she said.  It might be useful in predicting or measuring someone's response to drug education programs, or to other therapies, she added."  It would be nice to see if they can predict when people are going to get mental illness.  If they can stop before people go through hell that would be great. I know this will take years before anything can be done.  They do not have medication that helps everyone right now.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

How Those With Schizophrenia Misinterpret Social Cues

That is the title of this article I am writing about today. "People who suffer from schizophrenia often misinterpret social cues, which can lead to unpleasant and often paranoid or persecutory thoughts. A new study provides insight into this misperception. Researchers believe their findings, published in the journal Psychological Medicine, could foster psychological interventions to assist people with schizophrenia better interpret social cues and perhaps ease related symptoms.  Investigator Dr. Sukhi Shergill of King’s College London, said, 'Humans are social beings, often finding joy in interacting with others. While most attention is on talking with each other, non-verbal behavior such as gestures, body movement, and facial expression also play a very important role in conveying the message.'However, the message being conveyed is not always clear, or perceived as a positive one, and an extreme example is evident in patients suffering from schizophrenia who show a strong tendency to misinterpret the intentions of other people in a malevolent manner.'" It is true especially when I was a teenager and first married.  Even though I was not diagnosed yet and I feel paranoid schizophrenia was playing a large part in my behavior and thoughts. I always thought about my mariage that if me and me ex were born in a different time it would have worked.  Now I know if I would have been born without this disease it would have worked.
The article goes on to say: "In the study, investigators studied the behavior of 54 participants, including 29 people with schizophrenia, as they viewed the body position and gestures of an actor on a silent video clip. The video included gestures such as putting a finger to the lips to indicate ‘be quiet’ or incidental movements such as scratching an eye. Researchers found that patients with schizophrenia are able to interpret meaningful gestures and incidental movements as accurately as healthy subjects. However, when the direction of the gestures was ambiguous (i.e. not obviously directed at or away from them), they were much more likely to misinterpret the gestures as being directed towards them. Investigators believe this could indicate an increased tendency to self-infer these ambiguous social cues or to “hyper-mentalize,” falsely inferring intent in the actions of others.
Both of these misinterpretations could strengthen paranoid thoughts experienced by patients with schizophrenia, said the study authors. Moreover, the patients’ confidence in their interpretation was found to be strongly associated with their tendency to experience hallucinatory symptoms." I never had hallucinatory symptoms all thought I can relate to some of this. I just put it up to my lack of social awkwardness.
The article ends: "Our study offers a basis for psychological interventions aimed at improving gestural interpretation,” Shergill said. “It could also provide guidance for health professionals and care-givers on how to communicate with patients who have schizophrenia, in order to reduce misinterpretations of non-verbal behavior.' Emerging technology can help to improve communication as well as enhance quality of life among individuals with schizophrenia. 'The recent advent of adaptable virtual-reality technology provides a means of investigating the psychological effects of gestural communication with greater flexibility, which may prove a boon for our future understanding of social deficits in schizophrenia,' said Shergill." I am glad they have found something that may work to help people with schizophrenia.  If they can help them not to make the same mistakes in life that I did because I did not understand what was going on for real I think it would be a great help.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Belief That Mental Illness Can Be Contagious Contributes To Isolation

That is the title of this article I am writing about. "Many illnesses are contagious. You'd do well to avoid your neighbor's sneeze, for example, and to wash your hands after tending to your sick child. But what about mental illness? The idea that anxiety, autism or major depression could be transmitted through contact may sound crazy — and it probably is. There's a lot we don't know about the origins of mental illness, but the mechanisms identified so far point in other directions. Nonetheless, we do know that people's emotions can be affected by the emotions of those around them — a phenomenon known as "emotional contagion" — and that specific symptoms of mental disorders, such as binge eating, can sometimes spread among peers. We also know that many people hold scientifically unfounded views about transmission. For instance, some people believe that organ transplant recipients can acquire the personal characteristics of their donors, a view for which there's no serious scientific support. So, could it be that some people believe psychiatric disorders can be contagious? And, if so, does this belief have consequences for their willingness to interact with people diagnosed with those disorders?" Well what people believe.  I have worked for over six years and no one has caught schizophrenia from me.  I know some people can catch colds from someone else in the family or school or work but not a mental illness.
The article goes on to say: "A recent paper by Jessecae Marsh and Lindzi Shanks, published in the journal Memory & Cognition, suggests the answers are "yes" and "yes." Many of their participants agreed that mental disorders can be communicated from one person to another, and individuals' views about the communicability of a disorder strongly predicted their willingness to interact with a person having that disorder. In their first study, Marsh and Shanks presented 45 undergraduate participants with 12 different mental disorders that ranged from alcohol abuse and ADD to schizophrenia and generalized anxiety disorder. For each one, participants were asked to rate how likely they thought it would be for someone to catch the disorder through close contact with a person who had it, with ratings on a scale from 0 percent probability to 100 percent probability. Ratings varied strongly across disorders, with the highest average estimated transmission rates for alcohol abuse (56.0%), anorexia (35.7%), major depressive disorder (32.2%), and hypochondria (30.6%). The disorders with the lowest estimated transmission rates were Tourette's disorder (4.2%), autism (5.3%), schizophrenia (7.4%), and bipolar disorder (11.2%). Participants answered a variety of additional questions, including how willing they would be to interact with someone with each disorder. For example, they rated their agreement with statements like, "I would be willing to work with a person with anorexia," or "I think someone with schizophrenia is dangerous." The study's central result was this: People's willingness to interact with someone with a given disorder was best predicted by their belief as about the communicability of that disorder, with other beliefs — about, for instance, the disorder's psychological basis and the extent to which an individual can control the symptoms she displays — playing a much smaller role. A second experiment helped establish that this predictive relationship was actually causal: It was indeed beliefs about communicability that caused different attitudes towards personal interaction. " I believe this when I was looking for an apartment me and my sister went to look at one when I told the landlady that I had a mental illness she stopped talking to me and started talking to my sister.  Like I was not there.  Of course she did not give me the apartment but played it off that there was another reason.  It is illegal to discriminate against people with disability.
The article ends: "But how, exactly, did people think the transmission of mental illness from one person to another actually occurred? A follow-up study with 122 undergraduates probed more deeply into people's beliefs about the mechanisms involved. Diseases like chicken pox and the flu were overwhelmingly thought to be transmitted through physical contact on a relatively short timescale (e.g., being sneezed on or touching the same object). But the most common mechanisms of transmission for mental illness involved social interactions and were generally believed to operate on a much longer timescale — closer to years than to minutes. Not surprisingly, though, the responses participants provided were pretty light on specifics. For instance, one participant explained that generalized anxiety disorder can be transmitted because "the person's anxiety will rub off." For alcohol abuse, a participant explained: "If you hang out with someone that drinks all the time, you will soon be drinking a lot as well." People who suffer from mental illness face a variety of challenges, often including stigma and social isolation. The findings from these new studies help identify one factor that may contribute to both: people's beliefs about the transmission of mental illness from one person to another. The thing is, these beliefs about transmission are almost certainly false. This may seem disheartening, but it also makes room for a sliver of hope: the hope that a small bit of education could go a long way."Some how we have to get rid of stigma and these beliefs. They only see what is on TV and they do not interact with people that have mental illness to find out we our not contagious and really would not wish this disease on anyone.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Drug to treat flat affect in schizophrenia shows promise

That is the title of this article I am writing about.  "AMSTERDAM – Patients with schizophrenia given the investigational drug cariprazine showed statistical improvements in negative symptoms such as apathy and withdrawal, compared with those given risperidone, results from a phase III clinical trial have shown. The data were presented at the annual congress of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology.  Both drugs are antipsychotics, but risperidone is a dopaminergic antagonist, and cariprazine is a D2 and D3 receptor partial agonist, tending toward the D3 receptor. Currently, no drugs are on the market with a specific indication for treating the negative symptoms of schizophrenia, although several second-generation antipsychotics reduce negative symptoms as well as positive and general symptoms of schizophrenia. Several pharmacotherapies are available to treat the positive symptoms of the illness.  In this multicenter, international, double-blind study, 230 adults with schizophrenia were randomly assigned to receive cariprazine and 231 were assigned risperidone for 26 weeks, reported Dr. György Németh, one of the study’s lead authors and chief medical officer of the study’s sponsor, Gedeon Richter." I do know from what I read that this drug is welcome by both people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.  They say no drug on the market treats both.
The article goes on to say: "People included in the study had been stable for at least 6 months prior to screening, and for a subsequent 4 weeks prior to randomization. Those with a score of at least 24 or greater on the Negative Factor Scale of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS-NFS) and a score of at least 4 on two of the three core negative symptoms, along with positive factor scores on the PANSS of at least 19 or more were considered for inclusion in the study. At baseline, both groups had similar PANSS scores: Negative factor scores in the study drug arm were 27.7 and 27.5 in controls. Positive factor scores were also similar: 8.8 in the study arm and 8.6 in controls.
Study participants also were measured at baseline on the Personal and Social Performance Scale. Scores were 48.8 in the study drug arm and 48.1 in the risperidone arm.  After a 2-week period of cross-titration and washout of previous medications, patients were treated with the target dose of 4.5 mg daily of their assigned drug for 24 weeks." This is from the makers of Geodon that is what I take now and for me it has been a wonder drug.  I have no symptoms either positive or negative. If this helps people able to not withdrawal from society it would be great.
The article ends: "In the 77.4% of enrollees in both cohorts who completed the trial, those treated with cariprazine had the most improvement in both negative symptoms and personal and social performance, compared with the control group. At 26 weeks, the overall change from baseline in the study group for negative factor symptoms was –2.39, compared with –0.53 in controls (95% confidence interval; P = .002). Personal and social performance scores changed at 26 weeks from baseline by 2.71 in the study group and 6.56 in controls (95% CI; P less than .001).
Discontinuation rates were low, and the most common side effects were insomnia and headache (about 10% for each), mostly in the risperidone arm.  Dr. David Pickar, who was not involved in the study, said in an interview that when treating patients with schizophrenia “improvement in negative symptoms occurs a fair amount with improvements in positive symptoms. The problem is the persistence of negative symptoms,” said Dr. Pickar of the department of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, and former branch chief of intramural experimental therapeutics at the National Institute of Mental Health.  This trial was sponsored by Gedeon Richter."They do need a drug that gets rid of all negative symptoms. I personally would like to read that all people with schizophrenia are doing well working if they would like and be able to not suffer with negative symptoms.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Negative Symptoms of Schizophrenia Linked to Worse Outcome

That is the title of this article I am writing about. "Negative symptoms in patients with schizophrenia are associated with an increased likelihood of hospital admission, longer duration of admission, and an increased likelihood of re-admission following discharge, according to a new study by researchers at King’s College London. Negative symptoms include poor motivation, poor eye contact, and a reduction in speech and activity. As a result, people with schizophrenia often appear emotionless, flat, and apathetic. These contrast with the positive symptoms of hallucinations or delusions, which are typically the first targets of treatment.  The study is the largest ever to investigate a relationship between negative symptoms and clinical outcomes, pulling from a sample of more than 7,500 patients."The people with negative symptoms can tell you all this because they suffer everyday with negative symptoms.
The article goes on to say: "'Hospital admissions are the main drivers of cost in the care of patients with schizophrenia — yet they have traditionally been linked to the severity of positive psychotic symptoms,' said Dr. Rashmi Patel from the Department of Psychosis Studies. Our data indicate that negative symptoms are an equally important factor, and suggest that a greater emphasis on assessing and treating these features of schizophrenia may have significant health economic benefits.”
'However, as our findings are drawn from observational data, interventional clinical studies are required to determine whether an effective treatment for negative symptoms would lead to better clinical outcomes.'  For the study, researchers used the Clinical Record Interactive Search (CRIS) application, a text-mining tool, to analyze anonymous patient data on negative symptoms. Natural Language Processing (NLP) was used to detect statements within the clinical records that determined references to specified negative symptoms."I think if you would get rid of the negative symptoms you would find more people with schizophrenia working. I know they are just observing but I read about it everyday.
The article ends with: "Ten negative symptoms were identified, including poor motivation, blunted or flattened mood, poor eye contact, emotional withdrawal, poor rapport, social withdrawal, poverty of speech (excessively short speech with minimal elaborations), inability to speak, apathy, and concrete thinking (the inability to think in abstract terms).  The researchers found that 41 percent of patients exhibited two or more negative symptoms. Negative symptoms across the sample were associated with an increased likelihood of hospital admission, longer duration of admission, and an increased likelihood of re-admission following discharge from hospital.  In fact, patients with two or more negative symptoms were 24 percent more likely to have been admitted to the hospital. In addition, each of their admissions were, on average, an extra 21 days in duration and, when discharged, these individuals had a 58 percent higher risk of re-admission within 12 months.  The most frequently recorded negative symptoms were poor motivation (31 percent), blunted or flattened mood (27 percent), poor eye contact (26 percent), and emotional withdrawal (24 percent). If a person had all those negative symptoms you would think something would have been done by now.  Especially the poor motivation.  It is hard to get anything done when you are fighting just to do it. Everyone needs motivation  and not a flatten mood.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Clinical trial shows first treatment for ‘emotional flatness’ associated with schizophrenia

That is the title of this article I am writing about. "Results of a clinical trial seem to show the first effective treatment for the negative symptoms--withdrawal, lack of emotion, and apathy--associated with schizophrenia.  This work is presented at the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology conference in Amsterdam.  Schizophrenia is one of the most common serious mental health conditions, with around 1 in 100 people experiencing schizophrenia in their lifetime. The main symptoms fall into 3 categories: positive symptoms, such as delusions and hallucinations; negative symptoms, such as lack of drive and social withdrawal; and cognitive symptoms, such as problems with attention and memory. The negative symptoms tend to persist, and don't respond well to current treatment. Effective medicines (antipsychotics) exist for positive symptoms, but negative symptoms and cognitive impairment do not respond well to the available treatments.  Now the results of a new Phase III clinical trial indicate that the negative symptoms may be treatable with a new investigational drug, cariprazine, which binds to the D2 and D3 dopamine receptor with D3 preference. The researchers, all from the Gedeon Richter pharmaceutical company which developed the drug, enrolled 461 men and women in a randomised, double-blind clinical trial, to compare cariprazine against risperidone (which is commonly used to treat schizophrenia). Patients were treated for 26 weeks, with 77.4% of enrolled patients completing the trial. Full details of the trial are given in the abstract."It is the first to show good results.  This is what people have been waiting for now we have to see if there are any side effects that make it not wanted.
The article goes on to say: "The outcomes were measured using a special subscale of the PANSS scale (Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale) which is a standard method used for measuring symptom severity of patients with schizophrenia. After 26 weeks of treatment, it was found that cariprazine treatment group showed a statistically significant improvement in the PANSS-NFS scale relative to risperidone (-1.47; p=0.002). In addition to the effect on predominant negative symptoms of schizophrenia, patients who took cariprazine also performed significantly better on personal and social functioning than those who took risperidone. Full details of the trial are given in the abstract.
According to lead researcher Dr György Németh (Chief Medical Officer, Gedeon Richter): 'The positive symptoms of schizophrenia can be controlled by drugs, but this is the first study ever to show a significant effect of a compound on negative symptom compared to another antipsychotic. It seems that with cariprazine, we may be able to treat both the positive and negative symptoms with a single medication.'" One drug to treat it all what more could you ask for.  I know taking one drug for my mental illness is the best.  Although I never had negative symptoms but hear all the time how it effects those others with schizophrenia.
The article ends: "Commenting, ECNP Executive Committee Member Professor Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg said: 'Treatments for the negative symptoms of schizophrenia are still urgently needed as these are critical predictors for patient's recovery and reintegration. The current results suggest that D3-dopaminergic mechanisms may play a role in both causing and treating emotional flatness, which deserve further confirmation.'  The trial was organised and supported by the Gedeon Richter pharmaceutical company, which developed cariprazine. The researchers report that the most frequent adverse events (incidence ≥5%) across both treatments groups were insomnia, headache, akathisia, worsening of schizophrenia symptoms, anxiety and somnolence. As this drug has not yet completed the approval process, no indication of the costs of the treatment is available." That is a lot of side effects.  It will not work for everyone is what I am thinking.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Fish oil pills may help teenagers stave off schizophrenia

That is the title of this article I am writing about. "There may finally be a way to stop people progressing beyond the first signs of schizophrenia – fish oil. When people with early-stage symptoms took omega-3 supplements for three months, they had much lower rates of progression than those who did not, according to one small-scale trial.  People with schizophrenia are usually diagnosed in their teens or 20s, but may experience symptoms for years beforehand, such as minor delusions or paranoid thoughts. Only about a third of people with such symptoms do go on to develop psychosis, however, and antipsychotic drugs can cause nasty side effects, so these are rarely given as a preventative.  Fish oil supplements, which contain polyunsaturated fatty acids like omega-3, may be a benign alternative. These fatty acids may normally help dampen inflammation in the brain and protect neurons from damage, and lower levels in the brain have been implicated in several mental illnesses."That would be great if they work.  I take them for dry eye.  It is good to see there are so many uses for fish oil.
The article goes on to say: "Tests have found that people with schizophrenia have lower levels of these fatty acids in their blood cells, suggesting the same could be true for their brain cells. Fish oil supplements have been investigated as a treatment for adults with schizophrenia, but so far results have been mixed – four trials found no benefit while another four found a small reduction in symptoms. But a study that gave omega-3 fish oil pills to younger people suggests that what matters is catching the condition in time. The trial followed 81 people aged 13 to 25 with early signs of schizophrenia. Roughly half took fish oil pills and half took placebo tablets for three months. A year later, those given fish oils were less likely to have developed psychosis."I can tell because I do not have negative or positive symptoms to see if the fish oil I take help my psychosis.  I do know my diet was not the best when I was growing up. We had fish although I never eat it.  Prison food is not all that great.
The article ends: "New trajectory
That was seven years ago. The researchers have now followed up 71 of the participants and found that just 10 per cent of those given fish oils went on to develop schizophrenia, compared with 40 per cent of the placebo group. “We may have put them on a different trajectory,” says team member Paul Amminger of the University of Melbourne, Australia.  The results are striking, says David Taylor  of the Maudsley Hospital in London. But he cautions that this was a small trial and the results need to be reproduced.  Nigel Barnes of Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust in the UK agrees that the study needs repeating with a larger group, but says that it’s reasonable for people to give fish oils a try. However, he warns that over-the-counter products may not have the right dose of the right fatty acids to be of use.  Amminger says the best approach for those at risk of developing schizophrenia would probably be to combine fish oil supplements with talking therapies." That is the trouble finding the right fish oil that works.  The final say if it works is a bigger trial I will watch for that trial so I can write if it works.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Smoking Rates Still High Among Mentally Ill

That is the title of this article I am writing about. "Despite a major decline in cigarette smoking in the general adult population, smoking rates in people with mental illness have remained the same for a decade, according to new research published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
In fact, one-third of current adult smokers suffer from some type of mental illness, and so far, anti-smoking efforts have not seemed to affect this particular population.  'Individuals with mental illness represent approximately one-third of the adult smokers in the U.S., and we need to develop alternative tobacco control strategies, including targeted treatments for this vulnerable population,' said Marc L. Steinberg, Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and lead author of the study." I know from reading a lot of them have a hard time quitting.  I quit seventeen years ago.  I did so my granddaughter could come and visit in a smoke free house. My ex was supposed to quit but I am the one that ended up quitting it took me  a month with welbutrin there were so many side effects I quit in a month.
The article goes on to say: "'Tobacco control has been relatively successful in helping some groups quit smoking, but the remaining smokers may be the ones who are the hardest to treat. We need to address the health disparities of the remaining smokers, such as those with lower socioeconomic status and mental health problems.'  For the study, researchers analyzed data of New Jersey residents who had been surveyed by the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. In this system, data was collected from telephone surveys independently conducted in all 50 states that compiled chronic health information from adults aged 18 and older and then pooled by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  The findings show that during the 10-year period examined by researchers at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, smoking prevalence was greater in people suffering with behavioral health conditions, compared to persons with better mental health.'" I hear talk that the new quitting is using e-cigarettes.  To me that is not quitting.  I remember when I had to give up coffee because it made my symptoms come through.  The  first thing my counselor asked it is what did you replace it with and my answer was water. I can now drink coffee now that I am on a different medication.
The article ends with: "'Our research found that while smoking rates have been going down in New Jersey adults without mental health problems, they have remained steady for those with mental health problems,' said Steinberg.  'This suggests that tobacco control strategies are not reaching those with poor mental health, or, if they are, their messages are not translating into successful cessation.'
Steinberg and his colleagues also examined quit attempts by current smokers. They found that those with poor mental health tried to quit just as often as those who were mentally healthy, but tended to relapse and start smoking again.  “Evidence shows that there has been a significant decrease in smoking in adults, and our data indicates that people with mental illness attempt to quit smoking at the same rate as those without mental illness, yet they are not as successful,” said Steinberg."I had to quit the side effects were to much I quit in a month because I did not want to take anymore of that welbutrin. I had a friend who gave me a list of the side effects and I had everyone on that list. I did not even think about smoking I was wondering what would happen next.  Although I am glad that I quit the first time I tried to quit.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Unintended Consequences of Focusing on Recovery in Schizophrenia

That is the title of this article I am writing about. "Much has been said in this blog by my colleague Dr David Laing Dawson and myself on the concept of recovery. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if full recovery was possible but it isn’t. However, I really should clarify that somewhat. Schizophrenia should probably be referred to as a spectrum disorder like autism. When Bleuler first coined the term in 1908, he referred to it as the schizophrenias and said that it was a physical disease process characterized by exacerbations and remissions. No one was ever completely “cured” of schizophrenia — there was always some sort of lasting cognitive weakness or defect that was manifest in behavior. Unfortunately, over the years, it began to be considered to be one disease only.  In a recent article in Psychology Today, University of Toronto medical historian, Edward Shorter, had this to say. In adolescent-onset schizophrenia, some don’t recover at all; others make only a 'social recovery,' and some maybe go on to have a normal life or 'Maybe not'. Shorter then adds that 'The field has made virtually no progress in unpacking chronic severe illness and differentiating out several distinct entities. In no other field of medicine would this be conceivable!' and 'Some involve loss of brain tissue, others don’t. Some have to stay on meds, others don’t. Some get well, others don’t. These are not all the same illness!'" I do pretty well with my medication, others not so well.  A lot of them do not want to hear that I am doing well.  They suffer. It was like that also with A.A. when I went this one guy said I did not believe that you were and alcoholic until you told your story.  They made sure I had me mental illness I was sick in jail for at least six months which made me never want to get sick again.
The article goes on to say: "In fact, it has long been recognized that there are three outcomes to schizophrenia. Roughly a third are treatment resistant and remain very ill, a third can be helped with meds and other treatment modalities to improve sufficiently to lead a reasonable but disabled life, and a third will have one psychotic episode, receive treatment and never have another or any long term deficits.  According to the Treatment Advocacy Center, 10 years after diagnosis, 'one-fourth of those with schizophrenia have recovered completely, one-fourth have improved considerably, and one-fourth have improved modestly. Fifteen percent have not improved, and 10 percent are dead.'
How do you think the families of the majority of those with non recoverable schizophrenia or the individuals themselves will feel when we hold up to them what is achievable by only 25%? And, we tell them that it is achievable. Why can’t I (or my son or daughter) achieve that. Have I done something wrong? Cancer is an interesting analogy. There is not one cancer but many. And each cancer has its own unique characteristics and prognosis." That is the truth when someone is doing better they all want to do the same and why not? I do not know where I fit on their scale because I did have a relapse when my medication was lowered to much that was an old drug called Moban. I am glad I am off it but it took it be discontinued for me to change that is because I never want this disease to come back and lose control again.
The article ends with: "Non melanoma skin cancer (basal cell and squamous cell) have 5 year survivals of 95% and 90%. In contrast, the 5 year survival for pancreatic cancer ranges from 1% for stage IV to 14% from stage 1A. Imagine if we told those with stage IV pancreatic cancer not to worry because 5 year survival is 95%. Ridiculous isn’t it but that is what we tell people with schizophrenia. Don’t worry, you should be able to recover because 25% do.  Now, I’m not saying to abandon hope but rather to be realistic and pushing recovery is not realistic if it is not qualified.  The second problem was mentioned to me by my friend Kathy Mochnacki of Home on the Hill in Richmond Hill Ontario. She pointed out that if you claim that recovery is possible, then why continue doing research. People can recover so no need for it. Of course, scientists know better but they are dependent on funding from governments and other agencies.
So, let’s all inject some scientific reality into a very troubling and serious disease."  There are people that do not have any symptom relief even with medication. It is troubling. I do not know the answer except we do need more research and better medicaion that does not allow you to get diabetes just because you want to be well.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Brain Training App Improves Memory of People With Schizophrenia

That is the title of this article I am writing about today. "A new brain training iPad game developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge may improve the memory of patients with schizophrenia, according to new research. While the psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia are reasonably treated by current medications, patients are still left with debilitating cognitive impairments, including in their memory, and so are frequently unable to return to school or work, the researchers said.  They added that while there are no medications to improve cognitive function for people with schizophrenia, there is increasing evidence that computer-assisted training can help them overcome some of their symptoms, with better outcomes in daily functioning and their lives.
In a study published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, a team of researchers led by Professor Barbara Sahakian from the Department of Psychiatry at Cambridge describe how they developed and tested Wizard, an iPad game aimed at improving episodic memory.
Episodic memory is the type of memory required when you have to remember where you parked your car in a multi-story parking garage after going shopping for several hours or where you left your keys several hours ago, for example. It is one of the facets of cognitive functioning affected in patients with schizophrenia, the researchers said.  The game is the result of a nine-month collaboration between psychologists, neuroscientists, a professional game developer, and people with schizophrenia. It is intended to be fun, attention-grabbing, motivating and easy to understand, while at the same time improving the player’s episodic memory."I would love to try it the last game I tried for memory was posit.  It does work if you use it everyday  like I did and I could see the improvement each day.  It is hard for some people as a coworker with schizophrenia just said it is repeating and you just have to remember where the things are.  That gets your memory working.
The article goes on to say: "The memory task was woven into a narrative in which the player is allowed to choose their own character and name. The game rewards progress with additional in-game activities to provide the user with a sense of progression independent of the cognitive training process, the researchers explain.  For the study, the researchers recruited 22 people diagnosed with schizophrenia. They were then randomly assigned to either the cognitive training group or a control group. Those in the training group played the memory game for a total of eight hours over a four-week period, while those in the control group continued their treatment as usual. At the end of the four weeks, the researchers tested all participants’ episodic memory using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) PAL, as well as their level of enjoyment and motivation, and their score on the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scale, which doctors use to rate the social, occupational, and psychological functioning of adults. The researchers found that the patients who had played the memory game made significantly fewer errors and needed significantly fewer attempts to remember the location of different patterns in the CANTAB PAL test relative to the control group. In addition, patients in the cognitive training group saw an increase in their score on the GAF scale. Those in the training group indicated that they enjoyed the game and were motivated to continue playing across the eight hours of cognitive training. In fact, the researchers found that those who were most motivated also performed best at the game. This is important, as lack of motivation is another common facet of schizophrenia." This one sounds a lot better than the one I was doing. If they can stay motivated that is great.  That is most of the battle having someone keep playing the brain game for a long time to get results.
The article ends with: "'We need a way of treating the cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia, such as problems with episodic memory, but slow progress is being made towards developing a drug treatment,' Sahakian said. “So this proof-of-concept study is important because it demonstrates that the memory game can help where drugs have so far failed. Because the game is interesting, even those patients with a general lack of motivation are spurred on to continue the training.”
In April 2015, the researchers began a collaboration with the team behind the brain training app Peak to produce scientifically-tested cognitive training modules. The collaboration has resulted in the launch of the Cambridge University & Peak Advanced Training Plan, a memory game available within Peak’s iOS app, designed to train visual and episodic memory while promoting learning.
The training module is based on the Wizard memory game, developed by Sahakian and colleague Tom Piercy at the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge. Rights to the game were licensed to Peak by Cambridge Enterprise, the university’s commercialization company.
'This new app will allow the Wizard memory game to become widely available, inexpensively,' Sahakian said. 'State-of-the-art neuroscience at the University of Cambridge, combined with the innovative approach at Peak, will help bring the games industry to a new level and promote the benefits of cognitive enhancement.'
The game is built for four weeks of training and is priced at $14.99/£10.99."It is not bad priced if it works and it sounds like it does. Also keeps people wanting to continue that is great. Only four weeks of training that sounds even better if it helps your memory.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Scientists identify schizophrenia's 'Rosetta Stone' gene

That is the title of this article I am writing about today. " Scientists have identified a critical function of what they believe to be schizophrenia's "Rosetta Stone" gene that could hold the key to decoding the function of all genes involved in the disease.
The breakthrough has revealed a vulnerable period in the early stages of the brain's development that researchers hope can be targeted for future efforts in reversing schizophrenia.
In a paper published in the journal Science, neuroscientists from Cardiff University describe having uncovered the previously unknown influence of a gene in ensuring healthy brain development.
The gene is known as 'disrupted in schizophrenia-1' (DISC-1). Past studies have shown that when mutated, the gene is a high risk factor for mental illness including schizophrenia, major clinical depression and bipolar disorder. The aim of this latest study was to determine whether DISC-1's interactions with other proteins, early on in the brain's development, had a bearing on the brain's ability to adapt its structure and function (also known as 'plasticity') later on in adulthood.
Many genes responsible for the creation of synaptic proteins have previously shown to be strongly linked to schizophrenia and other brain disorders, but until now the reasons have not been understood."It would be great if they can reverse schizophrenia and all mental illnesses.  I hope for the people who have not been diagnosed that they do not have to go through the same that I went through and all people who have this disease.
The article goes on to say: " Their experiments in mice revealed that by preventing DISC-1 from binding with these molecules -- using a protein-releasing drug called Tamoxifen at an early stage of the brain's development -- it would lack plasticity once it grows to its adult state, preventing cells (cortical neurons) in the brain's largest region from being able to form synapses.
The ability to form coherent thoughts and to properly perceive the world is damaged as a consequence of this.
Preventing DISC-1 from binding with 'Lis' and 'Nudel' molecules, when the brain was fully formed, showed no effect on its plasticity. However, the researchers were able to pinpoint a seven-day window early on in the brain's development -- one week after birth -- where failure to bind had an irreversible effect on the brain's plasticity later on in life.
'We believe that DISC-1 is schizophrenia's Rosetta Stone gene and could hold the master key to help us unlock our understanding of the role played by all risk genes involved in the disease,' said Professor Fox.
"The potential of what we now know about this gene is immense. We have identified a critical period during brain development that directs us to test whether other schizophrenia risk genes affecting different regions of the brain create their malfunction during their own critical period.
'The challenge ahead lies in finding a way of treating people during this critical period or in finding ways of reversing the problem during adulthood by returning plasticity to the brain. This, we hope, could one day help to prevent the manifestation or recurrence of schizophrenia symptoms altogether.'" It would be great if they can fix schizophrenia before it starts but it would be good also if they can just return the plasticity of the brain once people are diagnosed with a mental illness.
The article ends with: "Professor Jeremy Hall, an academic mental health clinician and director of Cardiff University's Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute, said:
"This paper provides strong experimental evidence that subtle changes early on in life can lead to much bigger effects in adulthood. This helps explain how early life events can increase the risk of adult mental health disorders like schizophrenia."
Schizophrenia affects around 1% of the global population and an estimated 635,000 people in the UK will at some stage in their lives be affected by the condition. The projected cost of schizophrenia to society is around £11.8 billion a year.
The symptoms of schizophrenia can be extremely disruptive, and have a large impact on a person's ability to carry out everyday tasks, such as going to work, maintaining relationships and caring for themselves or others."I do not have the problems that most with schizophrenia have. I have paranoid schizophrenia that did not start until age twenty eight I had all the symptoms but did not get fully diagnosed until age twenty nine.  So all I learned in those years stuck with me except math. I saw it as a chance to get out of a rotten life that all I was doing was always being locked up.  I will always wonder if being hit in the head with a barbell at age five had something to do with be ending up with this disease.  I know it was an accident but I will never know how my life could have turned out if I wasn't hit in the head.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Understanding Memory Loss Linked with Psychosis

That is the title of this article I am writing about. " New research may lead to a solution for the overwhelming side effect of memory loss among people with psychosis.
Although current mediation regimens can control delusions and hallucinations, psychosis’ devastating toll on memory is often a significant impediment to living a normal, high-quality life.
The new University of California, Davis investigation pinpoints potential target areas for treatments to help the more than 3.2 million Americans for whom medication quells the voices and visions, but not the struggle to remember.
The study found that memory is most impaired when people with schizophrenia try to form relationships between items — remembering to also buy eggs, milk, and butter when buying flour to make pancakes — and that this relational encoding problem is accompanied by regionally specific dysfunction in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.
People with schizophrenia also have greater difficulty retrieving this relational information even when they can remember the individual items, and this relational retrieval deficit is accompanied by functionally specific dysfunction in a brain area called the hippocampus.
The research appears online in JAMA Psychiatry.  Schizophrenia is well-known for its more florid manifestations, said J. Daniel Ragland, professor of psychiatry in the University of California, Davis School of Medicine and lead author of the study.
'Everyone has had the experience of hearing their name called or phone ring, or that someone is standing beside them. When these events take place initially we experience them as real,' Ragland said. 'What happens in psychosis is that you continue to have the experience, and the feeling becomes more developed, more real, and more intrusive.'" I know I have the memory issue at the store I have to have a list and I have to look at it in the store or I will forget something like if I am making enchiladas I will get everything I think and then forget the tortillas. Also when I was taking math in college my tutor would say he remember everything then when he walks out the door everything is forgotten.
The article goes on to say: "Decades-old medications treat these symptoms effectively. But what remains is often more intractable: memory loss and other cognitive difficulties that make it difficult to perform the activities of daily living.
'People with schizophrenia have difficulty retrieving associations within a context, and this creates a pervasive loss of memory that makes everyday life a challenge,' Ragland said. “You can’t work if you can’t remember the next step in what your boss told you to do.”
'If you’re going to develop a drug or other therapy to improve memory, we found that this frontal and temporal lobe relational memory network may be a target or ‘biomarker’ for treatment development,' he said.
The multi-site functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) study was conducted in approximately 60 male and female patients with schizophrenia who were age matched with unaffected control subjects.
Participants with psychosis were clinically stable, had remained on medication for one month, and were experiencing mild symptoms. Participants were located at University of California, Davis, Washington University in St. Louis, University of Maryland, and Rutgers University.
For the study, participants viewed a series of pictures of everyday objects, and made either an item-specific encoding decision about whether the object was living or non-living, or made a relational encoding decision about whether one of the objects could fit inside of the other during fMRI scanning.
This was followed by an item-recognition task consisting of previously studied objects presented together with never-studied objects. Participants had to assess whether or not the object was previously studied.
Participants also were tested on their associative recognition of which objects were paired together during the relational encoding task. The more severe pattern of relational memory deficits and dorsolateral prefrontal and hippocampal dysfunction was revealed by contrasting the item-specific and relational memory conditions during encoding and retrieval.
In the participants diagnosed with psychosis, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex appeared substantially less activated than in healthy control participants — 28 percent to 30 percent less activated.
Although participants with schizophrenia activated the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex during relational versus item encoding, they failed to activate the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex — a finding that is consistent with earlier fMRI studies of attention and problem-solving in individuals with schizophrenia."  This is hard for people with schizophrenia, you want to learn something new for your job and your life and you can never get past a step because your memory does not work it can be frustrating.  My memory of number is excellent besides math and at the store I do not have any real problems in that area. It does take a lot of repetition for me to really grasp something.
The article ends with: "In addition, the study revealed that healthy controls exhibited increased activation in the hippocampus, while activation was significantly reduced in the participants with psychosis for retrieval following relational-memory encoding, but not for retrieval following item memory encoding.
Thus, the hippocampus, which plays a unique role in creating relational memories, joins the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in helping to explain the disproportionate relational memory deficits experienced by people with schizophrenia.
Dr. Cameron Carter, senior author and professor of psychiatry, said that the finding is exciting because it points the way to potential pathways to improve the lives of people with psychosis.
'This shows that the memory problems in people with schizophrenia are not the same as those of people with Alzheimer’s disease,' where the brain region is damaged and deteriorating. “It’s more like those of people with other cognitive deficits, such as ADHD,” said Carter, who is director of the Imaging Research, Behavioral Health and Neuroscience centers at University of California, Davis.
'We now know that, if we’re going to improve memory in people with psychosis we have to improve the functioning of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. And there are many different ways that we can do that, such as through cognitive brain training,' he said.
Carter said that another experimental treatment, called transcranial direct current stimulation, is designed to activate and enhance the function of the brain region.
'This research is directly informing the next steps in our research. And the area that we’ll stimulate will be this one.' 'Twenty or 30 years ago we couldn’t do any of this,” Carter said. “So this is real progress.'"That is where repetition comes in you just keep training the brain by doing exercises. I wrote an article when I was doing those brain exercises they said it is just memory but as you go along and start getting better so does your memory for other things.