Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Researchers Find Way to Increase Neuroplasticity and Treat “Negative” Symptoms of Schizophrenia

That is the title of the article I am writing about. This is and old article I have never written yet. I think it would be interesting if there were more like it. "Recent research at McLean Hospital and Harvard University Medical School shows a very promising possibility for the future treatment of the “negative” symptoms of schizophrenia by improving neuroplasticity––the ability of the nerve cell networks in the brain to physically adapt to changing conditions. Negative symptoms in schizophrenia include decrease in motivation, lack of attention, emotional flatness, memory loss and social withdrawal."  We really need something to help with negative symptoms. I write about them a lot in my blogs because I work and I know how hard it would be to do nothing because of negative symptom's.
The article goes on to say: "The research team was led by Joseph T. Coyle, M.D., a NARSAD Distinguished Investigator Grantee and Foundation Scientific Council Member. Dr. Coyle’s team at Harvard Medical School included Vadim Y. Bolshakov, Ph.D., a two-time NARSAD Grantee and Professor of Psychiatry. The researchers worked with mice to determine if they could find a cluster of abnormalities known to affect the brain’s hippocampus in people with schizophrenia. The mice were genetically engineered to have very low N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor activity in the brain, a condition suspected to be linked to impaired synaptic plasticity, memory formation and the negative symptoms of schizophrenia. The researchers investigated associated abnormalities including overall shrinkage of the hippocampus; decreased density of tiny nodules called dendritic spines, which serve as spots where synapses, or communications junctions, can form between neighboring neurons; and altered signaling pathways that help regulate neuroplasticity."  It would help people with mental illness that have negative symptoms. I know from the little I messed with neuroplasticity that it does help with memory.  The games anyway that is what I used.  It is seeing a picture and remembering where it was and hitting the right button. I performed better with time.
The article ends: "
In a paper published in the May 31st issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Drs. Coyle, Bolshakov and colleagues reported that the mice with low NMDA receptor activity “displayed impaired hippocampal plasticity, as well as the morphological [shape], neurochemical and cognitive abnormalities consistent with what is observed in schizophrenia.” This was an exciting finding, but then they went further. The mice used in the experiments had only about 10 percent of normal NMDA receptor activity because they had been engineered to lack D-serine, one of two molecules needed to activate the receptors. When the researchers treated the mice with D-serine, NMDA receptor function in the hippocampus was restored. Over time, all of the observed hippocampal symptoms proved reversible.
This new work lends important support to the theory that low activity (“hypoactivity”) in NMDA receptors in the brain can cause pathologies seen in people with schizophrenia and importantly, that the condition may be treatable and the symptoms reversed. While not the sole cause of schizophrenia, the ability to reverse this hypoactive condition in mice suggests it may be possible to develop D-serine-based treatments for use in people―what could prove to be a breakthrough in the treatment of schizophrenia."  So why has this treatment came available by now. I know it takes time although there has been nothing new to happen to help people with mental illness in a long time.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


That is the title of this blog that I am writing about. We all need hope. I know I do at different times in my life.  The biggest time in my life was when I was going to court and facing twenty four years. The time came in the trial that it looked not very well for me. The court was on a break for lunch and I knew things did not look well for me. I was so thinking of the trial when I went to buy lunch. There was a girl there that I had knew from earlier in my life but my mind was in a fog and I could not remember her until I went back to the car then I did.
Well I was acquitted of one charge and had a great chance on appeal for the second as the judge denied me the law. It would come out to be a misdemeanor. I kept hope alive and it worked out that time. I still have had bad luck at times in my life although I always keep hope alive that things will turn out for the best and they usually do.  Sometimes it takes time. When we are looking for a quick fix. Although for me hoping for a good turn out for what is bothering me always works out. Always hope for the best.
 I am still walking and do not know if I am losing weight. When I went to the pdoc and they weighed me I had lost a pound. I need to lose more than that. I really do not eat that much so I do not know why I weigh so much. I just have a sandwich for lunch and dinner. It has to be the meds. The only thing I do know is I have to keep up my walking or my weight will return. The grandkids are getting older and I wish I had started my education a lot earlier then I did.  The time I lost getting my education cost me eight years.
I wish I could have been working if I had received my degree in my twenties. I just want to make sure my grandkids do not make the mistakes I did in life.  Even though things are alright I made some bad choices in this life.  Some I would change others I would leave the same.  Throughout a persons life they have to keep hope that things will turn out for the best.  It usually does.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Well there has not been a lot in the news lately about mental health. My recovery started in 1989 when I was sent to the state hospital for a crime that I still do not like to talk about that involved mental illness and alcohol.  I never understood where I was because I was mentally ill.  Did not understand until they started giving me medication.  Stellazine was the first and when they told me I was sentenced one day to life that really freaked me out.  I was trying to understand what happened and what was going to happen.
I knew from the streets that I needed to learn typing as I took in on the streets but it was accelerated class and to fast to learn.  When the state hospital told me I had to go to school that was my chance to learn how to type from scratch and I did.  It of course took time but that is what I had.  Also in there we went to groups that taught about mental illness and how to take care of yourself.  They taught us a schedule for when to take our medication and to always take it about the same time as then a person gets use to that schedule.
I was talking to one of the counselors and she asked what I wanted to do with my life and I told her I wanted to learn computers.  She introduced me to a person that worked in vocational rehabilitation and he started teaching me word perfect.  Also well I was there I started getting all the papers necessary for me to go to college when I was released from there.  Learning word perfect helped a lot in my first computer class I took in college.  The state hospital was hard to do time there was so much that was like the streets.
I called my family to much I was missing be out and free.  More that when I was in prison the state hospital was a place I do not want to go back to. I listen to what they said and I did the work to learn how to stay out and maintain my mental illness. I did have one relapse when I was set free.  I had just started college and the first day I relapsed.  I had to go back to the state hospital for a weekend although when I went I did not think they would let me out for awhile but they increased my medication and I was back that Monday.  I had to change some classes because I had missed the amount of days that they allowed.
To me recovery is being free  and taking care that I take my medication and enjoy my family especially my grandkids. Also remain symptom free. I guess I am lucky in the fact that my mental illness is paranoid schizophrenia.  Because I do not have any negative symptoms I know from reading stories that means that I would not be able to do the things I do and enjoy doing. So a big part of recovery is being both positive and negative symptoms and bay. I of course went to AA and did urine screens.  For me drinking again means going back to prison a place I do not want to go. I could also end back at the state hospital. It is something I will not do in this lifetime again. I do not miss doing stupid things and ending up in jail.  Since I been out since 1994 I have not been stopped my the police.  They used to stop me and my friends that looked like me a lot so that I also do not miss.
 I'll leave with learn what works for you.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Exercise and Mental Health

That is the title of this blog I am writing about today. Well I was off on vacation last week and did was not able to do as much walking as I wanted to do. I have been walking more though, I know longer wait for the bus after work I walk down three blocks to catch it to get some exercise. I then get left off about a half mile from my apartment and walk home.  I cannot tell from my clothes if I am losing even a little although I am not going to give up as it took time to gain this weight and I know it will take time to lose it.
I am going to see my pdoc today and they will weigh me and I will know if I lost a little weight.  Also kind of exciting day seeing my pdoc today he told me last time if my arm does not shake as it did at my last visit then I will not have to see him so often.  I think the shaking was a fluke as it did happen for about a week and that was the longest it had ever happened.  I was nervous that day and week as a lot was happening to me. It is not shaking today and hope I do not get nervous before I go. I do not think so.
I would like to take this further step in my recovery.  Things are not always so well for me I have my ups and downs but for the most part I am happy.  When I read the news like I did last week about people in the state hospital for murder only having to do five years before some are released always remind be of the state hospital I was not there for murder.  It was the hardest time I ever did.  I remember when I would see people get out earlier then five years it made me think why not me to.  Even though they have a restaurant there and walk the grounds. The time was hard because it made be think about freedom more than if I was locked up in prison.
The hospital showed there success rate in the article. I know I am one I have been out of there for twenty one years and never want to go back not even for a check up.  That is one place more than prison that frightens me because I have been there and it is not the best of places to be. Life can be hard sometimes although you just have to keep hope that things will get better and they usually do.