Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Study identifies key indicators linking violence and mental illness

That is the title of this article I am reviewing today. "'New research from North Carolina State University, RTI International, Arizona State University and Duke University Medical Center finds a host of factors that are associated with subsequent risk of adults with mental illness becoming victims or perpetrators of violence. The work highlights the importance of interventions to treat mental-health problems in order to reduce community violence and instances of mental-health crises. 'This work builds on an earlier study that found almost one-third of adults with mental illness are likely to be victims of violence within a six-month period,' says Richard Van Dorn, a researcher at RTI and lead author of a paper describing the work. 'In this study, we addressed two fundamental questions: If someone is victimized, is he or she more likely to become violent? And if someone is violent, is he or she more likely to be victimized? The answer is yes, to both questions.' The researchers analyzed data from a database of 3,473 adults with mental illnesses who had answered questions about both committing violence and being victims of violence. The database drew from four earlier studies that focused on issues ranging from antipsychotic medications to treatment approaches. Those studies had different research goals, but all asked identical questions related to violence and victimization. For this study, the researchers used a baseline assessment of each study participant's mental health and violence history as a starting point, and then tracked the data on each participant for up to 36 months.'"They are forgetting substance abuse.  I am not violent although when I had an episode for the second time and I drank I was violent and went to the state hospital because of a crime that happened when I was psychotic and drunk.
The article goes on to say: "'Specifically, the researchers assessed each individual's homelessness, inpatient mental-health treatment, psychological symptoms of mental illness, substance use and as victims or perpetrators of violence. The researchers evaluated all of these items as both indicators and outcomes -- i.e., as both causes and effects. 'We found that all of these indicators mattered, but often in different ways,' says Sarah Desmarais, an associate professor of psychology at NC State and co-author of the paper. 'For example, drug use was a leading indicator of committing violence, while alcohol use was a leading indicator of being a victim of violence.' However, the researchers also found that one particular category of psychological symptoms was also closely associated with violence: affective symptoms. 'By affect, we mean symptoms including anxiety, depressive symptoms and poor impulse control,' Desmarais says. 'The more pronounced affective symptoms were, the more likely someone was to both commit violence and be a victim of violence. 'This is particularly important because good practices already exist for how to help people, such as therapeutic interventions or medication,' she adds. 'And by treating people who are exhibiting these symptoms, we could reduce violence. Just treating drug or alcohol use -- which is what happens in many cases -- isn't enough. We need to treat the underlying mental illness that is associated with these affective symptoms.'" That is what worked for me to stop drinking and it has been 27 years since I last took a drink.  Since then I have not been stopped for a crime or been charged with anything alcohol is bad for me and I know it.
The article ends: "'The research also highlighted how one violent event could cascade over time.
For example, on average, the researchers found that one event in which a person was a victim of violence triggered seven other effects, such as psychological symptoms, homelessness and becoming perpetrators of violence. Those seven effects, on average, triggered an additional 39 additional effects. 'It's a complex series of interactions that spirals over time, exacerbating substance use, mental-health problems and violent behavior,' Van Dorn says. 'These results tell us that we need to evaluate how we treat adults with severe mental illness,' he adds. 'Investing in community-based mental health treatment programs would significantly reduce violent events in this population,' says Desmarais. 'That would be more effective and efficient than waiting for people to either show up at emergency rooms in the midst of a mental-health crisis or become involved in the legal system as either victims or perpetrators of violence. 'We have treatments for all of these problems, we just need to make them available to the people that need them,' Desmarais says.'"You have to recognize the problem and then deal with it.  I did not need AA even though I had to go my crime was so bad in my mind that I did not want to drink again. I have not went to AA for the last twelve years because I will never drink again I hit the bottom and do not need alcohol to put me back in jail.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

MRI Scans Detect ‘Brain Rust’ in Patients with Schizophrenia

That is the title of this article I am reviewing today. "'New research has discovered that a damaging chemical imbalance in the brain may contribute to schizophrenia. Using a new kind of MRI measurement, neuroscientists reported higher levels of oxidative stress in patients with schizophrenia, when compared both to healthy individuals and those with bipolar disorder. 'Intensive energy demands on brain cells leads to accumulation of highly reactive oxygen species, such as free radicals and hydrogen peroxide,' said the study’s lead investigator, Dr. Fei Du, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.'" I believe this article because they have always said it was chemical imbalance.  It still have to find out what they can do about it.
The article goes on to say: "In schizophrenia, excessive oxidation, which involves the same type of chemical reaction that causes metal to corrode into rust, is widely thought to cause inflammation and cellular damage. However, measuring this process in the living human brain has been a challenge.
Du and his colleagues at McLean Hospital measured oxidative stress using a novel magnetic resonance spectroscopy technique. This technique uses MRI scanners to non-invasively measure brain concentrations of two molecules, NAD+ and NADH, that give a readout of how well the brain is able to buffer out excessive oxidants." It does not disappear in people with mental illness.  It must wear on the brain and that would be what causes a mental illness?
The article ends: "'Among 21 patients with chronic schizophrenia, Du observed a 53 percent elevation in NADH compared to healthy individuals of similar age. A similar degree of NADH elevation was seen in newly diagnosed schizophrenia, suggesting that oxidation imbalance is present even in the early stages of illness, according to the researchers. More modest NADH increases were also seen in bipolar disorder, which shares some genetic and clinical overlap with schizophrenia. In addition to offering new insights into the biology of schizophrenia, this finding also provides a potential way to test the effectiveness of new interventions, according to Du. 'We hope this work will lead to new strategies to protect the brain from oxidative stress and improve brain function in schizophrenia,' he said. The research was presented at the 2016 American College of Neuropsychopharmacology Annual Meeting in Hollywood, Florida.'"This is such a small article and a lot more needs to be said about how this can help.  Also do people still have this oxidation when the are on anti-psychotic medication?

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Those with Schizophrenia Share Tips on Living Productive Lives

That is the title of this article I am reviewing today. "'In a new study, researchers at the David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles and colleagues at the University of Southern California describe some of the strategies people with schizophrenia have used to overcome the disorder and function successfully in their careers. Their findings appear in the journal Psychiatric Services. Investigators conducted up to three interviews each with 10 men and 10 women with schizophrenia from the Los Angeles area. All of them continued to have some psychotic symptoms even as they were employed in professional, technical, or managerial occupations.
'To the best of our knowledge, no previous studies have addressed how individuals with schizophrenia who also met some definition of recovery manage the symptoms of their disease,'said Dr. Amy Cohen, an associate research psychologist and the study’s first author. The researchers found that the people they interviewed had adopted numerous coping strategies to prevent and deal with symptoms. These strategies included avoiding stressful situations, staying away from alcohol and drugs and taking their prescribed medications. '" I do not avoid stressful situations I function perfectly except I have to take my medicine with food and know I can fall asleep two hours after I take it so I cannot always go places or out to eat knowing I have to take my medicine soon.
The article goes on to say: "'The interviewees also said they try to interact with people who are supportive and non-judgmental and that they use various cognitive strategies to help them reason through problematic thoughts and whether or not those thoughts are based in reality. The subjects also mentioned religion and spirituality, and exercise and diet, as ways they prevent or deal with psychiatric instability, Cohen said. Some individuals reported that calm, soothing places help them cope, while others said they preferred to seek out more activity. And some said jobs and educational activities could be distracting, but others said that school or career help by providing a sense of belonging. 'One big surprise — and disappointment — was the disparity between the education of these individuals and the salaries they were earning,' Cohen said. 'Most of the patients studied had college or advanced degrees but still made less than $50,000 annually despite working in a large, urban city.'  Researchers discovered that even with the various coping strategies, about half of those surveyed reported having difficulty managing their daily lives, not having felt close to another person within the prior week and experiencing recent hallucinations or delusions. Sadly, these symptoms are characteristic of the disorder. Overall, social stigma continues to be a serious problem for those affected by schizophrenia and other mental illnesses.'" I have a masters degree but do not use it it is in Public Administration.  I did not go in that field the reason I received my masters is because I had took alcohol and drug counselor but after my internship did not really like it because of the hours and the place I interned at. I went back as quick as I could and signed up for the first masters I could get.
The article ends: "'There is a widespread misunderstanding that individuals with schizophrenia are violent and dangerous, often homeless, and beyond help,’' Cohen said. Prior studies have shown that half to two-thirds of people with schizophrenia will significantly improve or fully recover, enabling them to live fulfilling and productive lives. Cohen said she hopes the findings provide encouragement for people battling the stigma of mental illness and that the study helps inform treatment for schizophrenia. 'The bulk of treatments for schizophrenia were developed from observations of individuals who are quite ill or hospitalized, rather than patients who have achieved a level of recovery,' Cohen said. “And the prevailing medical model continues to presuppose the expertise of the clinician over the individual with the disorder. This study allows for new insights by leveraging firsthand experiences of those with schizophrenia.” Whenever I am angry or just sad or something I play music that always helps me with situations it calms me down.  Makes life more bearable.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A Breakthrough That Could Help Silence The 'Voices' Of Schizophrenia

That is the title of this article I am reviewing today. "Researchers from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital announced yesterday that they have isolated and characterized a small segment of RNA known as “microRNA” that may hold promise in silencing the bothersome voices which haunt schizophrenic patients. By manipulating this small segment of RNA, the researchers hope to restore normal function to the brain circuit associated with the 'voices' and well as other types of hallucinations associated with schizophrenia. Ultimately, this finding is important because it may serve as a target for developing novel antipsychotic drugs, but without the bothersome side effects (sedation, blurred vision, drowsiness, dry mouth, weight gain) that currently reduce compliance and thus limit their effectiveness."It would help a lot if they can find something that reduces voices.  To do without medication would be great it is the medication that stops most people with this illness find work.  It is hard to work when your medication gets in the way.  Like sedation when you have to stay alert to do your job.
The article continues: "The research was published in the journal Nature Medicine. The researchers used mice to build this particular model that isolates the specific area of the genome associated with such auditory hallucinations. In fact, their work is an extension of previous St. Jude research that details the molecular mechanism that inhibits a neural circuit connecting two areas of the brain associated with processing auditory information. More importantly, the research also yields insight into why psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia are typically delayed until late adolescence or early adulthood." Again my did not come into my late twenties.  Although looking back when I was married I feel that some symptoms were showing.
The article ends: "'In 2014, we identified the specific circuit in the brain that is targeted by antipsychotic drugs. However, the existing antipsychotics also cause devastating side effects,' said corresponding author Stanislav Zakharenko, M.D., Ph.D., of the St. Jude Department of Developmental Neurobiology. 'In this study, we identified the microRNA that is a key player in disruption of that circuit and showed that depletion of the microRNA was necessary and sufficient to inhibit normal functioning of the circuit in the mouse models. We also found evidence suggesting that the microRNA, named miR-338-3p, could be targeted for development of a new class of antipsychotic drugs with fewer side effects,' he added.'" Fewer side effects would be great I battle to keep the weight off.  I walk and eat less then a normal person.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Cognitive Dysfunction Often First Sign of Schizophrenia

That is the title of this article I am reviewing today. "'People with schizophrenia  suffer not only from symptoms of psychosis, such as hallucinations and delusions, but neurocognitive deficits as well such as poor memory and attention. Now a new study led by psychologists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) found that certain neurocognitive symptoms tend to manifest first and are typically evident in the early, high-risk stage of the disorder called the prodromal phase.
The findings suggest that these deficits may serve as early warning signs of schizophrenia, as well as potential targets for intervention that could help curb the onset of the psychotic disorder and significantly improve cognitive function. 'To our knowledge, this is the largest and most definitive study of cognition in the high-risk period before onset of for psychosis/schizophrenia,' said corresponding author Larry J. Seidman, Ph.D., a psychologist at BIDMC and professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School.'" That is the hardest losing attention span and memory.  It makes it hard to hold down a job and make some money.
The article goes on to say: "'This is part of a paradigm shift in the way we are focusing on the earlier, prodromal phase of the disorder in an effort to identify those most likely to develop psychosis.”\'
For the study, the researchers gathered neurocognitive functioning data from participants at eight university-based, outpatient programs in the United States and Canada over the course of four years. They compared 689 males and females deemed at clinical high risk (CHR) of developing psychosis to 264 male and female healthy controls (HC). The findings show that the high-risk group performed significantly worse than the control group on all measures, which involved tests of executive and visuospatial abilities, attention and working memory, verbal abilities, and declarative memory.
Among the high-risk participants only, those who would later go on to develop psychosis performed significantly worse than their high-risk peers who did not develop psychosis during the study.
'Currently, when mental health professionals assess people coming in for evaluation, we don’t know who will eventually develop schizophrenia,' said Seidman. 'Our group’s focus is on identifying early warning signs and then developing interventions to improve a person’s chances for not getting it, making it milder or delaying it.'" Even if they can make it milder that would help.  I remember not understanding what was going on with me when I first had a breakdown.
The article ends: "Impaired working memory (the ability to hold information like a phone number in mind for a short time while it’s in use) and declarative memory (the ability to recall things learned in the last few minutes) turned out to be the key neurocognitive functions that are impaired in the high-risk, prodromal phase prior to the onset of full-blown psychosis. These findings, said Seidman, confirm the experiences of many people with schizophrenia who report sudden difficulties reading, concentrating or remembering things in the earliest days of the disorder. These cognitive deficits are the most difficult symptoms to treat and are responsible for keeping roughly 80 percent of people with schizophrenia out of work or school. New focus on the prodromal period and the growing promise of early intervention is giving patients and their families more realistic hope that better outcomes are possible, added Seidman. 'People can hear voices and still function pretty well, but they basically cannot function at all when their cognition is impaired,' he said. 'We are also testing a number of cognitive remediation and enhancement treatments to determine their role in the evolution of the illness. There’s more evidence suggesting that early intervention reduces the number of people who transition to schizophrenia.' The study is published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.'" See I would like to know how and why my memory works so good.  Although before this illness I never had a phone book I remembered everyone's phone number I still am pretty good with numbers although I do not know about other things if there is something I want to remember I just repeat the phrase or number to myself and that works.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Scientists confirm genetics of schizophrenia

That is the title of this article I am reviewing today. "Creating an effective treatment for schizophrenia requires a better understanding of its biology, of the genes that cause it. Using technology to illuminate chromosomes, scientists confirmed the underlying genetics of this mental disorder. The identified genetic disruptions occur at a crucial time in brain development. The science team hopes its research, published Wednesday in the Journal Nature, leads to new medications to treat the disorder.More important, using a similar strategy could help researchers identify genes that lead to autism and other brain disorders, said Dr. Daniel Geschwind, principal investigator and a professor of neurology and psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine.Building on previous research Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe and disabling mental disorder. Its symptoms may include delusions, thought disorder and hallucinations. Worldwide, schizophrenia affects 50 million people, many unable to function normally, as they are tormented with delusions and hallucinations. No cure exists, so doctors try to manage the symptoms with medications and therapy.
Even though the 2014 research revealed parts of the genome causing schizophrenia, the results were still puzzling, Won said. These genetic loci (locations) were not in coding regions of the genome, where a genetic message is translated into proteins, which actively perform the work necessary to maintain cellular life -- and our own human lives. Instead, the loci were in regulatory regions, where genes act more or less like managers by increasing or decreasing a target gene's activities. Another problem: No nearby targets could be found. Searching for an explanation, Geschwind and his colleagues theorized that possible target genes may appear only far away. When the ropes of DNA underwent complex twisting and looping in order to fit into a chromosome, the regulatory genes and their as-yet-unknown targets might actually be close together.Genetic connection points
To investigate, Geschwind and his team used a technology called chromosome conformation capture, which chemically marks and then maps the locations where loops of chromosomal DNA come into contact. And because schizophrenia is believed to result from abnormal development of the cerebral cortex, they looked at brain cells from this region. What did Geschwind and his colleagues discover when they created a map of contact points within the chromosome? Most of the schizophrenia-linked DNA, discovered in the 2014 study, came into contact with genes known to be crucial to brain development. This confirmed past studies indicating that genes that increase the risk for schizophrenia are 'most active during early fetal brain development,"'prior to 24 weeks gestation, explained Geschwind. '"So they are saying it happens in the womb.  Hopefully this study can find an answer that I have been looking for how did I get this disease.
The article ends. "'At this crucial moment in brain development, neurons are born and migrate to different areas of the brain. All told, Geschwind and his team found that the schizophrenia-associated loci make up a small proportion -- less than 10% -- of the total genome.
"Each locus actually has very small impact in really causing schizophrenia. So it doesn't really mean if you have one locus associated with schizophrenia, you have schizophrenia," Won said. Rather, each locus increases the possibility of developing the disorder. "We know that it is not caused by one gene. We call it heterogeneity: It is a disorder that can be caused by many regions, not only one region," he said. Join the conversation See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter. The new study results may someday contribute to new treatments.
'Schizophrenia is actually an adult-onset disorder, so people really didn't think that it may have any fetal components,' Won said. 'Maybe fetal brain developmental period is a very critical for the onset of this disorder, even though the onset -- really showing off the symptoms -- comes at a much later time.'" It also come in teenager years or young adult.  Even though I did not get this disease until my late twenties I feel like some symptoms showed in my teenage years.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Risks of developing mental health problems if brother or sister affected

That is the title of this article I am reviewing today. "What is the risk of developing a mental disorder if a brother or sister has the condition? Now a large survey using data from all patients hospitalized in psychiatric wards in Israel, and their siblings, has given some answers: having a sibling with schizophrenia increases your risk of developing the condition by a factor of x10, with increased risks of developing bipolar disorder and other mental disorders.  Similar increases are seen with siblings of patients with bipolar disorder. This is the first study to assess risk of developing any psychiatric diagnosis in siblings of all patients hospitalized for any type of mental disorder in an entire population, and is presented at the ECNP neuroscience congress in Vienna." All of this I do not understand for my case.  None of my brother or sisters have a mental disorder.  The only ones in my family that have mental illness is a cousin on my moms side and a second cousin on my dads side. I do not think I will ever know before I die why I have this mental illness.
The article goes on to say: "The lifetime chance of suffering a mental disorder is extremely high. It is estimated that each year 38.2% of the EU population suffers from a mental disorder, corresponding to 164.8 million persons affected. It is known that siblings of patients with major mental disorders have an increased risk of suffering from the same disorder, but until now the risks have not been quantified
Now an international team has examined the rates of mental disorders in the families of 6111 Israeli patients who had been hospitalised with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or depression. They compared them to over 74,000 controls, age-and gender matched controls, taken from the Israeli Population Registry, which records all births, deaths, marriages and divorces in the country. By comparing the relative rates of mental disorders, they were able to show just how much more siblings are at risk of the same, and also other mental health conditions."  I really would like to know why I have this disease and even though I high functioning it has caused me problems in my life.  I recieved my first breakdown when I was twenty seven.  Looking back on my life though I believe I had symptoms when I was nineteen and married it did affected my marriage and is one of the reasons I am not still married.
The article ends: "If a brother or sister has schizophrenia, a sibling has x10 greater chance of themselves suffering from schizophrenia. They also have x6 to x8 increased chance of suffering from schizoaffective disorder, and x7 to x20 greater risk of suffering from bipolar disorder than the general population. If a brother or sister suffers from bipolar disorder, then their siblings have x4 greater chance of suffering from bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other psychiatric disorders. According to lead researcher, Prof. Mark Weiser MD: "This is a large study which allows us to put meaningful figures on the risks of developing mental disorders after they have arisen in a brother or sister. The figures are quite striking, with x10 risk of developing schizophrenia, and similar risks once a sibling has developed bipolar disorder. These results are important clinically, as they encourage mental health workers to be aware of the increased risk of psychiatric disorders in siblings of patients. These results can also be used by researchers studying the genetic underpinnings of mental disorders, as they indicate that the same genes might be associated with increased risk for various psychiatric disorders. There was no external funding for this work."  I have two sisters and two brothers and none of them have a mental illness.  I have a lot of cousins and none of them have this disease except for the cousin that had this disease and committed suicide.  I knew why he committed suicide the state hospital in Oregon said if he came back he was going to spend the rest of his life there and he was only twenty years old.  I know that when I was released from the state hospital and relapsed here on the streets I  did not want to go back because I thought I would never get out again I was wrong they only kept me for a weekend.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Researchers criticize: Psychotropic drugs are no solution

That is the title of this article I am reviewing today. "'The currently available drugs cannot permanently alleviate the symptoms of mental disorders. This is the conclusion drawn by psychologists Prof Dr Jürgen Margraf and Prof Dr Silvia Schneider from Ruhr-Universität Bochum in a commentary published in the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine.
Effect of drugs are only short-lived
Margraf and Schneider have compiled ample evidence suggesting that anti-depressant, anti-anxiety and anti-ADHD drugs have only a short-term effect; if patients discontinue treatment, their symptoms return. The authors suspect that medication for the treatment of schizophrenia would yield similar results.
Long-term application of the drugs might even have a negative effect, for example increased risk of a chronic illness or higher relapse quota.
Psychotherapies are not available for many patients
According to the authors, psychotherapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy yield much better and more sustainable results in the long-term. 'The main problem with psychotherapy is not its effectiveness or costs,' says Silvia Schneider. 'Rather, it is its insufficient availability.' While psychotropic drugs can be applied straight away, patients often have to wait a long time for their first appointment with a therapist.
Biological concepts are insufficient
In their article, the psychologists from Bochum also discuss the question why better therapies are still non-existent, despite 60 years of dedicated research. According to their opinion, one reason might be the ill-advised notion that mental disorders can be explained by biological concepts alone.'"  The medication works for me although I have read from people who have a hard time when it does not work for them. I know the first time they put me on medication the psychiatrist was getting frustrated me cause he had to keep trying to get one that worked and it was and old medicine called Moban.
The article ends: "'Today, it has become standard to tell the patients and the public that mental disorders are caused by an imbalance in the neurotransmitter system,' elaborates Jürgen Margraf. However, it is not yet clear if that phenomenon is the cause or the effect of the diseases. Social factors should not be neglected. According to Schneider and Margraf, the rigid categories of 'ill' and 'healthy' are not helpful at all with regard to mental disorders, which manifest in many different forms.
Fewer psychotropic drugs, more psychotherapy
The authors postulate that it is necessary to link research into the biological, psychological and social factors and to broaden the narrow view of possible biological causes. Large pharmaceutical companies should reduce the marketing of psychotropic drugs. Moreover, patients should be given access to psychotherapeutic services more quickly.'"  I would not know if therapy on it's own would work when I was ill I was ill and I do not think any kind of talk therapy would have helped I could not concentrate on anything.

Friday, September 9, 2016

I'm 43 and schizophrenic. According to the statistics, I'll be dead in 17 years

That is the title of this article I am reviewing today. "'You’ve got a choice. You can either buy cigarettes, or get food to see you through the week. For most people it’s a no-brainer. Of course you’d buy food. But if you’re suffering from schizophrenia, living on the disability support pension and facing other psycho-social challenges, then the choice isn’t so clear. 'Some of my patients will choose cigarettes over food, my clinical specialist nurse told me. They also drink huge amounts of coffee. I’ve even seen people eating dried coffee from the tin.' So what’s going on here? I’m schizophrenic, and aside from dealing with the symptoms of the illness, there’s another statistic which I’m struggling to come to grips with. People with schizophrenia tend to live between 14 and 20 years less than the general community. 'With schizophrenia, my thoughts can be like pieces of a mismatched jigsaw puzzle'  Joshua Gliddon
I’m also 43. The average life expectancy for a non-Indigenous Australian male is around 80 years, a bit longer for women. I smoke, and weigh more than I should. According to the statistics, I’ve got about another 17 years left in me. That’s quite sobering." That is the truth when I smoked most of my social security check went on cigarettes and I was thin for that reason. Coffee I had to quit because I drank so much it affected the Moban I was taking and my symptoms would show up. For me coffee was harder to quit than cigarettes my body went through changes when I quit.  Now that I am on Geodon I can drink coffee again but I do not crave like before I only have two cups in the morning and that is enough for me now.
The article goes on to say: "Professor Amanda Baker, a senior researcher at the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) specialising in schizophrenia, told me there are a number of reasons why people with schizophrenia have reduced life expectancies. The big ones are poor lifestyle, unemployment and social isolation. She said that around 85% of people with schizophrenia smoke, compared with approximately 20% of the general population. One of the main reasons people smoke, she said, is that the medications used to treat the illness are often sedative and dulling, and so people use tobacco and caffeine heavily because they’re stimulants. The medications also have other side effects. For reasons that aren’t entirely clear, the anti-psychotics used to treat schizophrenia have a negative effect on metabolism. When I was first put on Olanzapine, a potent anti-psychotic, I put on about 25 kilos in a matter of months. I’ve moved onto a different medication since then, but it’s also weight unfriendly, and despite doing moderate exercise, I’ve never been able to shake the weight I gained. According to Baker, until recently there wasn’t a lot of attention paid to the physical health aspects of serious mental illness. Clinicians didn’t discourage patients from smoking because there was a pervasive attitude that you 'don’t upset the schizophrenics.'" When I quit smoking I put on a lot of weight I lost a lot by walking although the most recently lost was because of the three surgeries for lung cancer. I am trying not to put it back on again.
The article ends: "Not so long ago it was also OK to smoke in psychiatric institutions. Public facilities have clamped down on that, but smoking is still common in private hospitals.
Is there anything that can be done?  'People with schizophrenia are generally more dependent, and have less coping skills than the general population, and that makes it very hard for them to give up or make lifestyle changes,' Baker said. Brain’s immune cells hyperactive in schizophrenia New research links the onset of psychosis to the brain’s inflammatory response.  So the initiative needs to come from both patients and their care team. While psychiatrists in the past were only focused on medication and the mind, these days, said Baker, they are being encouraged to have a wider view of their patient’s health, both physical and mental. What needs to happen is a greater focus by clinicians on the overall wellbeing of their patients. Baker said this is finally occurring. 'Psychiatrists are being encouraged to look after the physical, as well as mental health of their patients, and that means addressing smoking, as well as diet and exercise,' she said. That’s a good start, but for the meantime, people with serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia will continue to die young. And that is a major downside of being sick.'" I know if they pass this new tax on cigarettes it is the mental ill that some just will not quit and use all their money to buy the cigarettes.  I know I used to be the same way.  I had  a reason to quit because I wanted my granddaughter to always come over my house.  My daughter did not want her around smoking.  Which I see now was good.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Smoking greatly reduces life expectancy for those with serious mental illness

That is the title of this article I am reviewing today. "'Smokers with serious mental illness have their lives cut short by about 15 years, compared with people who have never smoked and who do not have serious mental illness, research from the University of Michigan shows. They also die 10 years earlier than those with serious mental illness who have never smoked. This means smoking may account for nearly two thirds of the overall difference in life expectancy between individuals with serious mental illness who smoke, and never smokers in the general population, says Jamie Tam, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Health Management and Policy at the U-M School of Public Health, who conducted the study. 'Smoking reduces life expectancy for everyone but we tend to underestimate the importance of smoking for people with comorbidities,' Tam said. 'We know from existing research that people with mental illness live shorter lives, but what wasn't known is how much of that is due to their mental illness and how much is due to the fact that many of them are smokers.' About 42 percent of people with serious psychological distress are smokers, compared with the general population at less than 20 percent.'"  If most smokers are people with mental illness then with these new taxes what are they going to do.  I know when I smoked eighteen years ago I would spend most of my social security check on cigarettes and hardly any food.  I know others will probably do the same.
The article goes on to say: "To find out the contribution of smoking to reduced life expectancy among people with serious psychological distress, Tam and School of Public Health faculty members Kenneth Warner and Rafael Meza analyzed data from 328,000 individuals 25 years and older from the National Health Interview Survey gathered from 1997-2009. They linked it with the 2011 National Death Index. Tam said a disproportionate number of those with serious mental illnesses—including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and major depression—live in poverty, as they are often unemployed and many face homelessness and social conditions that increase their likelihood of smoking and in turn their risk of other health conditions. Deaths by suicide and accidents also occur more frequently in this population. Among those with serious psychological distress, the researchers found that 47 percent of the deaths are due to the three leading health complications associated with smoking: heart disease, cancer and stroke."  I quit because my daughter told her mom that she would not let my granddaughter who was just born in a house that had smoke.  So I decided my granddaughter was more important than smoking.  I was smoking about one and half packs a day. I had to have at least three cigarettes every morning just to start my day.  I quit with wellabutrin. There were so many side effects that I did not have time to think about smoking and I wanted my granddaughter at my house that when a month had past my doctor gave me a refill although I did not use it because I just did not smoke and did not want the side effects that was eighteen years ago and I do not miss it.
The article ends: "'This highlights the need to prioritize preventive care, including smoking cessation programs, for people with mental illness,' said Meza, senior author of the study and assistant professor of epidemiology at the U-M School of Public Health. Many people with mental illness lack adequate health care—only 32 percent of those with serious psychological distress report seeing a mental health professional—and many don't get their physical health care needs met, Tam said.
'A large majority of people with mental illness don't access mental health care, and even when they do, other health concerns like smoking are not addressed,' she said. 'There have been calls to integrate smoking interventions into mental health care but these recommendations haven't been fully implemented.'"  They really need to have something that does  not have side effects for the people to quit.  I heard it is hard but with medicines you also need willpower or a good reason to quit. I had a reason and I just did not need the headache of the medicine that was supposed to help.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Changes in Specific Gene May Up Risk of Some Mental Illnesses

That is the title of this article I am reviewing today. "In a new study, brain scans reveal the disruption or mutation of a specific gene increases the risk of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression.
Investigators believe the genetic mutation affects the structure, function and chemistry of the brain. They believe the findings could help in the quest for new treatments.In the study, researchers led by the University of Edinburgh scanned the brains of people that have a specific genetic mutation that causes part of one chromosome to swap places with another. This is interesting in that the chromosome swaps places with another one.  All I know is that I hope before I die they find out why I have this disease.
The article goes on to say: "The mutation results in disruption of a gene called DISC1, which is associated with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and recurrent major depression. The team found that people with the genetic mutation had changes in the structure of their brain. These changes were linked with the severity of their symptoms of mental ill health. Investigators also showed that carriers of the mutation had lower levels of a neural signaling chemical called glutamate in certain areas of their brain. Reduced glutamate levels have been strongly linked with schizophrenia in previous studies. Researchers say their findings confirm that the DISC1 mutation is associated with a significantly increased risk of psychiatric illness. They just said it has to do with the severity of the symptoms.  Is that why there is serious mental illness and some people have less severe symptoms?
The article ends with: "'They hope that continuing to study people with the mutation will reveal new insights to the biological mechanisms that underpin these conditions. The DISC1 mutation was first identified in a Scottish family that showed unusually high rates of major psychiatric disorders. Scientists have been studying generations of the family for 40 years but this is the first time they have scanned their brains. The study appears in the journal Schizophrenia. Professor Stephen Lawrie, head of the Division of Psychiatry at the University of Edinburgh, said: 'This study confirms and extends the genetics of DISC1, and shows how that and similar genetic effects can increase the risk of major mental illnesses.'" I do not understand this genetics as no one else in my family has this disease and I do not wish it on them.  Even though I hold down a job.  I know other people with this disease do not fare as well as I do.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Exercise can tackle symptoms of schizophrenia

That is the title of this article I am reviewing today. "Aerobic exercise can significantly help people coping with the long-term mental health condition schizophrenia, according to a new study from University of Manchester researchers. Through combining data from 10 independent clinical trials with a total of 385 patients with schizophrenia, Joseph Firth found that around 12 weeks of aerobic exercise training can significant improve patients' brain functioning. The study by Firth, Dr Brendon Stubbs and Professor Alison Yung is published in Schizophrenia Bulletin, the world's leading journal on Schizophrenia and one of leading periodicals in Psychiatry. Schizophrenia's acute phase is typified by hallucinations and delusions, which are usually treatable with medication. However, most patients are still troubled with pervasive 'cognitive deficits'; including poor memory, impaired information processing and loss of concentration. The research showed that patients who are treated with aerobic exercise programs, such as treadmills and exercise bikes, in combination with their medication, will improve their overall brain functioning more than those treated with medications alone."  I have a treadmill where I live although it is always busy that is why I used to prefer to just take walks since I had the surgery for lung cancer I cannot walk so far in the summer.  I do not know if it because of the fires around or I am just going to have trouble walking.  I am going to try again this winter because I really need to walk not to lose weight because I lost enough with the surgery.  Just to exercise.
The article goes on to say: "'The areas which were most improved by exercising were patients' ability to understand social situations. their attention spans, and their 'working memory' - or how much information they can hold in mind at one time. There was also evidence among the studies that programs which used greater amounts of exercise, and those which were most successful for improving fitness, had the greatest effects on cognitive functioning. Joe Firth said: 'Cognitive deficits are one aspect of schizophrenia which is particularly problematic. 'They hinder recovery and impact negatively upon people's ability to function in work and social situations. Furthermore, current medications for schizophrenia do not treat the cognitive deficits of the disorder.'" It does not help memory but to understand social situations that is not enough for people they need help to hold down a job.
The article ends: "'We are searching for new ways to treat these aspects of the illness, and now research is increasingly suggesting that physical exercise can provide a solution.' He added: 'These findings present the first large-scale evidence supporting the use of physical exercise to treat the neurocognitive deficits associated with schizophrenia. 'Using exercise from the earliest stages of the illness could reduce the likelihood of long-term disability, and facilitate full, functional recovery for patients.'" I did not walk as much as I have these last few years although I have always walk as I do not drive.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Genes Tied to Smaller Brain Area in Those At Risk for Psychosis

That is the title of this article I am reviewing today. "Scientists in Switzerland have uncovered a link between certain genes and the size of important brain structures in individuals with a heightened risk of schizophrenia psychosis. The findings are published in the scientific journal Translational Psychiatry. Schizophrenia is a severely debilitating mental disorder characterized by hallucinations, delusions and cognitive decline. The condition has been linked to a variety of biological, social, and environmental factors as well as to changes in brain structure. For example, the hippocampus in the temporal lobe is usually smaller in people with schizophrenia compared to those without the disorder. Researchers have been unsure whether these changes to the brain structure are a result of the disorder and/or its prescribed medications, or whether these changes were already present before the onset of symptoms. For the study, a research team at the University of Basel examined the brain structures of individuals who were at risk of developing psychosis as well as those of patients who were experiencing the onset of psychotic symptoms for the first time."  I do not understand what they could have found because everyone with the schizophrenia have different ways the mental illness affects some are lower functioning some are higher functioning.
The article goes on to say: "Initially, scientists from the Adult Psychiatric Clinic of the University Psychiatric Clinics (UPK) and the Transfaculty Research Platform Molecular and Cognitive Neurosciences (MCN) observed no notable differences between the hippocampi of individuals at high risk and those of patients. Next, in collaboration with scientists from the Transfaculty Research Platform, the Basel researchers investigated whether any known schizophrenia risk genes were associated with the hippocampus structure. They did, in fact, find a connection. The researchers found that the greater the number of risk genes a person possessed, the smaller the volume of their hippocampus. This was true regardless of whether they were a high-risk study participant or a patient."  There have been other studies with the hippocampus  I wrote about them a couple of years ago.
The article ends: "'This discovery suggests that a group of risk genes is connected with a reduction in the size of a critical region of the brain before the disorder manifests itself. The findings offer a greater understanding of neurobiological factors contributing to schizophrenia. It is well-known that none of the wider risk factors (e.g. genes, environment, unfavorable social situation) can be used to predict the onset of psychosis in any specific person. However, the discovery may be of use for the treatment of schizophrenia. 'It is quite possible that individuals with smaller hippocampi will react differently to therapy compared to those with normally developed hippocampi,' said lead researcher Dr. Stefan Borgwardt of the Neuropsychiatry and Brain Imaging Unit. The scientists are planning more studies to further confirm the therapeutic potential of this new finding.'"  They do these studies but we get no answers.  Like I would like to know why I have this disease since it does not run in my family.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

How Exercise May Help the Brain Grow Stronger

That is the title of this article I am reviewing today. "Physical activity is good for our brains. A wealth of science supports that idea. But precisely how exercise alters and improves the brain remains somewhat mysterious. A new study with mice fills in one piece of that puzzle. It shows that, in rodents at least, strenuous exercise seems to beneficially change how certain genes work inside the brain. Though the study was in mice, and not people, there are encouraging hints that similar things may be going on inside our own skulls. For years, scientists have known that the brains of animals and people who regularly exercise are different than the brains of those who are sedentary. Experiments in animals show that, for instance, exercise induces the creation of many new cells in the hippocampus, which is a part of the brain essential for memory and learning, and also improves the survival of those fragile, newborn neurons. Researchers believe that exercise performs these feats at least in part by goosing the body’s production of a substance called brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or B.D.N.F., which is a protein that scientists sometimes refer to as “Miracle-Gro” for the brain. B.D.N.F. helps neurons to grow and remain vigorous and also strengthens the synapses that connect neurons, allowing the brain to function better. Low levels of B.D.N.F. have been associated with cognitive decline in both people and animals. Exercise increases levels of B.D.N.F. in brain tissue."  I used to exercise by taking walks before they took out my left lung.  I cannot do it now but am looking forward to the weather cooling down so I can try again.  I do not know if it is the hot weather or the fires that make it impossible for be to walk like I used to.
The article goes on to say: "But scientists have not understood just what it is about exercise that prompts the brain to start pumping out additional B.D.N.F. So for the new study, which was published this month in the journal eLIFE, researchers with New York University’s Langone Medical Center and other institutions decided to microscopically examine and reverse engineer the steps that lead to a surge in B.D.N.F. after exercise. They began by gathering healthy mice. Half of the animals were put into cages that contained running wheels. The others were housed without wheels. For a month, all of the animals were allowed to get on with their lives. Those living with wheels ran often, generally covering several miles a day, since mice like to run. The others remained sedentary.
After four weeks, the scientists looked at brain tissue from the hippocampus of both groups of animals, checking for B.D.N.F. levels. As expected, the levels were much higher in the brains of the runners. But then, to better understand why the runners had more B.D.N.F., the researchers turned to the particular gene in the animals’ DNA that is known to create B.D.N.F. For some reason, the scientists realized, this gene was more active among the animals that exercised than those that did not. Using sophisticated testing methods, the scientists soon learned why. In both groups of animals, the B.D.N.F. gene was partially covered with clusters of a particular type of molecule that binds to the gene, though in different amounts." Well I see exercise is beneficial for a person.  I used to pride myself on being able to walk all over town.  Maybe this winter I can again.
The article ends with: "In the sedentary mice, these molecules swarmed so densely over the gene that they blocked signals that tell the gene to turn on. As a result, the B.D.N.F. genes of the sedentary animals were relatively muted, pumping out little B.D.N.F. But among the runners, the molecular blockade was much less effective. The molecules couldn’t seem to cover and bind to the entire B.D.N.F. gene. So messages from the body continued to reach the gene and tell it to turn on and produce more B.D.N.F. Perhaps most remarkably, the researchers also found a particular substance in the runners’ brains that fended off the action of these obstructionist molecules. The runners’ brains contained high levels of ketones, which are a byproduct of the breakdown of fat. During strenuous exercise, the body relies in part on fat for fuel and winds up creating ketones, some of which migrate to the brain. (They are tiny enough to cross the blood-brain barrier.) The brain uses these ketones for fuel when blood sugar levels grow low. But it appears that ketones also cause the molecules that hinder the B.D.N.F. gene to loosen their grip, as the scientists realized when they experimentally added ketones to brain tissue from some of the mice. Afterward, their B.D.N.F. genes were not blocked by nearly as many of the bothersome molecules, and those genes could get on with the job of making B.D.N.F. None of this occurred in the brains of the sedentary mice. 'It’s incredible just how pervasive and complex the effects of exercise are on the brain,' said Moses Chao, a professor at the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine at N.Y.U. who oversaw the study. Whether the same mechanisms that occur in mice occur in our own brains when we exercise is still unknown. But, Dr. Chao pointed out, like the mice, we have more B.D.N.F. in our bodies after exercise. We also create ketones when we exercise, and those ketones are known to migrate to our brains. Generally, however, this process requires exerting yourself vigorously for an hour or more, after which time your body, having exhausted its stores of sugar, starts burning stored fat and making ketones. If an hour or more of intense exercise seems daunting — and it does to me — don’t despair. 'We are only starting to understand' the many ways in which exercise of any kind and amount is likely to alter our brains, Dr. Chao said. For now, he says, 'it’s a very good idea to just keep moving.'" Just keep moving anyway you can.  It all helps for the better.  I would not want to lose my memory or anything because I did not move around or walk. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Worst Part Of Schizophrenia Isn’t What You Think It Is

That is the title of this article I am reviewing today and this is the last part of two parts. "'It’s like having a personal trainer in the gym, keeping you in just the right zone to build strength and fitness, without slacking or overtraining. And like a physical fitness regime, improvement only comes with persistence — Vinogradov’s experiments typically involve up to 50 hours of training, given over 8 to 10 weeks. 'If you don’t do it intensively, you’re not going to get the same results,' Vinogradov told BuzzFeed News. 'You need to come back every three days, and do your reps again.' After his first psychotic episode, Staglin returned to his classes at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, but his grades plummeted. He was eventually able to drag them back up, but only by isolating himself socially to devote his mental energy to his studies. Reading was an effort. He felt socially awkward and struggled to make friends. After college, Staglin worked for a satellite engineering company in Palo Alto, California, and was applying to grad school at MIT when the pressure became too much again. 'I had to resign from my job. I couldn’t focus. I couldn’t concentrate,' Staglin said.
It wasn’t until the late 1990s that Staglin took part in some of Vinogradov’s earliest experiments, which were designed to help people with schizophrenia make sense of speech and other sounds. Among other tasks, he had to tell whether a rapidly played tone was rising or falling in pitch. Staglin diligently did his reps and saw some benefits after many years of struggling with the cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia.'" After my first episode of mental illness I do not think I could concentrate on anything.  An example when I had a episode in the state hospital I was in school there and could not concentrate on anything I asked the teacher to take me back to the ward.
The article goes on to say: "'For Staglin, realizing that he was getting better at the games boosted his confidence. As his performance improved, he became more outgoing. 'I think it’s because of the cognitive benefits of being able to perceive and understand conversations better,' he said.
Despite the initial experiment’s benefits to Staglin and other volunteers, it took several years to win funding for the work. In their first major study, published in 2009, Vinogradov’s team invited people with schizophrenia to visit their lab and play a variety of games to improve how they understood sounds. As well as distinguishing the rising or falling tones, they also had to distinguish between distorted syllables containing similar sounds, such as 'pag' and 'bag,' and were given more complex tasks including remembering details from conversations played on the screen. The volunteers who’d trained on these tasks subsequently took tests in which they had to recall words. They performed better than a control group who had trained on computer puzzle games. They also did better on general tests of cognitive ability. Encouragingly, the gains were about twice as large as those typically reported in previous cognitive training studies. And the benefits could still be seen six months later.
Since this initial success, Vinogradov and her colleagues have experimented with different training games, some targeting brain circuits that process social information — for example, by asking volunteers to read the emotions on pictures of people’s faces. The researchers have also tried to intervene earlier in the disorder. (Like Staglin and Webster, most people with schizophrenia experience their first psychotic episode as young adults.)  Last year at the International Congress on Schizophrenia Research in Colorado Springs, Vinogradov’s team reported that the training did more than boost the cognitive abilities of recently diagnosed young people: It also seemed to reduce the severity of their psychotic symptoms, measured six months later.'" The games I played did not have sounds they were pictures of birds and you had to remember them.  They were not all birds but picture of things that you had to remember that is why the guy that took them with me said they did not work because it was memory.
The article ends: "'That doesn’t mean that brain training can replace the drugs that keep hallucinations and delusions at bay. But it suggests that the games may help to protect the brain from the disrupted wiring that is thought to be the root cause of schizophrenia’s symptoms. The researchers want to turn the cognitive improvements into real life-changers, but it’s not yet clear whether the training can make a big difference to holding down a job and building friendships. Vinogradov thinks this may require combining the computer games with other treatments, such as occupational therapy to help people with schizophrenia manage everyday tasks, and low doses of stimulant drugs that can improve focus. Webster got involved in Vinogradov’s research last year, volunteering for a study to see whether the training would work on an iPad — so that young people with schizophrenia can give their brains a workout at home. Like Staglin, Webster had struggled with mental tasks and felt socially isolated. These problems were compounded, he said, by several concussions during his time in jail, when he was beaten by fellow inmates. Unfamiliar with the jail’s unspoken rules, he first got into trouble by sitting in a part of the canteen claimed by black prisoners. After his release, Webster found it difficult to resume his studies. 'I would do homework and I would feel that I had to get up and stop and go listen to music or something,' Webster said. Trying to keep working wasn’t a good idea, he found: 'I get extremely frustrated when I’m in that state. I’ll start slamming doors and stuff, and throwing things across the room.'  Webster felt that the iPad training helped. 'I started noticing that I was less anxious when I was in public,' he said. 'My thoughts became less disorganized.'
Games designed to help a patient understand what they are seeing, in particular, seemed to boost his peripheral vision, increasing his awareness while driving. And his mom noticed that he responded more quickly when they talked — previously, their conversations had been punctuated by long pauses. Still, Webster would often quit the games before he was supposed to, because he found the exercises boring. 'I was supposed to do five hours a week. I ended up doing three,' he said. 'With schizophrenia, it’s really common to have a lack of motivation.' Cameron of UC Davis, who has collaborated with Vinogradov’s group, believes that the computer games industry — masters of cliff-hangers and cinematic thrills — should be able to solve that problem.  Vinogradov's team is  now concentrating on intervening even earlier, in young people who haven’t experienced a full-blown psychotic episode but are starting to behave oddly or having trouble distinguishing dreams from reality. The researchers have already shown that the training helps young people rated at high risk of developing psychosis get better at remembering words. But the idea of starting treatment before people have experienced a psychotic break is controversial. 'Attenuated psychosis syndrome,' intended to describe people at risk of schizophrenia, was rejected  as a new psychiatric diagnosis in 2012. Critics argued that more than 70% of young people who have strange thoughts and minor hallucinations do not go on to develop schizophrenia. If this diagnosis became mainstream, they worried, it could lead to a massive and unwarranted expansion in the prescription of powerful antipsychotic drugs. Getting young people to play computer games doesn’t arouse quite the same fears. 'Cognitive training is probably benign enough,' Allen Frances of Duke University, who led the opposition to the proposed diagnosis, told BuzzFeed News by email. But he remains worried about young people who may never develop schizophrenia being stigmatized by an 'at risk' label.
Webster would have welcomed the opportunity to seek early treatment. He began to have problems concentrating from the age of 14, and found it hard to socialize with other kids. 'I think my life would have different,' he said, 'if they’d caught this disease before I had a full-blown episode.'" Yeah you have to worry that the games get boring.  That is what happened to us that tried the games here at work. I could do better at remembering everyday that I would not play it every morning like I was supposed to.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Worst Part Of Schizophrenia Isn’t What You Think It Is

That is the title of this article I am reviewing today.  This will be a three part series. "'Brandon Staglin lost touch with reality in the summer of 1990, after his freshman year of college. His first serious relationship had just broken down. Back home in Walnut Creek, California, he was struggling to find a summer job. That’s when the voices became impossible to ignore. 'Baby Brandon!' they taunted. 'Mixed-up kid!' Staglin couldn’t sleep and thought that a wall had come down inside his head, leaving the right side hollow. 'I felt I’d lost half of my spirit,' Staglin told BuzzFeed News. So he covered his right eye with his hand, fearful that a new personality would fill the void if he let any experiences in. Delusional thinking like this, often accompanied by voices and other hallucinations, is a classic symptom of the psychosis that grips people with schizophrenia. Travis Webster’s lowest ebb also came when he was 18, back in 2013. Diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, which combines psychosis with wild mood swings, he’d stopped taking his medication. That led to a conflict with his parents: Webster thought they were conspiring against him, despite their efforts to help. He was filling out a restraining order against his family when two police officers and a social worker knocked on his door in downtown San Diego.'" Yeah I remember when I had psychosis for the second time all I did was lay in bed. I did not understand what was happening to me.  Even though I had my first breakdown in prison.  Then the psychiatrist just said I needed sleep and put me on Halcyon.
The article goes on to say: "'Things quickly got out of hand, as the former high school water polo player resisted the officers’ attempts to restrain him. 'I am 6-foot-5, 220 pounds,' Webster told BuzzFeed News. 'The cops were so small.” He punched one of them in the face and was sentenced to two months in the county jail. Travis Webster at his mother’s house in La Jolla, California. Ariana Drehsler for BuzzFeed News ID: 9240472 Life has gotten better for both Staglin and Webster. Today, their psychosis is controlled by medication, and they’ve become advocates for mental health: Staglin helps run the One Mind Institute, a research organization set up by his family, and Webster speaks about his experiences in schools. But silencing the voices and banishing delusions doesn’t mean that everything is OK. Once high-flying students, both men’s grades went into free fall when they were gripped by psychosis. And even after those symptoms were under control, they found it hard to concentrate on their studies. Hallucinations and delusions may be the public face of schizophrenia, but the hidden cognitive symptoms — which include difficulty focusing on mental tasks, understanding speech, and remembering what just happened — make it very hard for people with the condition to live satisfying, productive lives." I remember when the police arrested me they had to hold me down and one officer said I tore his pocket when they were trying to arrest me.  I had never fought the police before.
The article ends: "They might hear voices and learn not to respond to them,” Cameron Carter of the University of California, Davis, a specialist in the cognitive aspects of schizophrenia, told BuzzFeed News. But it’s hard to follow people’s conversations if you literally can’t process what they’re saying. And there’s no compensating for an inability to concentrate. Staglin and Webster, together with dozens of other volunteers, have found some relief, however, by playing computer games designed to strengthen their mental abilities. They have participated in trials led by Sophia Vinogradov and her colleagues at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), which draw from research into 'neuroplasticity' — the idea that the brain changes in response to how it is used. This means that neural circuits can be strengthened through mental training, much like an athlete builds muscle by pumping iron at the gym. The games are designed by a company called Posit Science, launched by one of the pioneers of neuroplasticity, Michael Merzenich, also at UCSF. They automatically adjust their difficulty so that players succeed on only around 80% of the tasks. Improve your performance, and the game gets harder. If your concentration slips, the tasks get a little easier until you’re back in the groove."  The games must be better than the one I tried six years ago.  All it did was improve your memory. My memory is pretty good with numbers although math is a different subject that I cannot do.  My tutor use to say he remembers it good when were sitting here but once he walks out the door he cannot remember all we learned.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Does the Media Unfairly Portray Mentally Ill People as Violent?

That is the title of this article I am reviewing today. "Nearly 40 percent of news stories about mental illness report a mentally ill person committing violence toward others. These numbers paint a misleading portrait of those with mental illness, because in reality, less than five percent of violence in the United States is directly related to mental illness, according to a new analysis by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The researchers, who studied news articles from top-tier media outlets over a 20-year period, say that this heavy reporting of such a small figure unfairly alters the perception of the readers to believe that most people with mental illness are prone to violence when extensive research has shown that only a small percent ever commit such acts.
The researchers were quite surprised at how little has changed regarding this subject over the last several decades. In fact, the portrayals may have increased the stigma toward people with mental illness. For example, in the first decade of the study period (1994 to 2005), just one percent of newspaper stories linking violence with mental illness appeared on the front page, compared with 18 percent in the second decade (2005 to 2014). 'Most people with mental illness are not violent toward others and most violence is not caused by mental illness, but you would never know that by looking at media coverage of incidents,' says study leader Emma E. “Beth” McGinty, Ph.D., MS, an assistant professor in the departments of Health Policy and Management and Mental Health at the Bloomberg School.'" A person with mental illness gets very tired of hearing all theses stories of violence and mental illness.  It has been twenty seven years since I had a drink of Alcohol and twenty eight years since I have been locked up for any crime under the influence.  Twenty eight years since a police officer has even stopped me.
The article goes on to say: "'Despite all of the work that has been done to reduce stigma associated with mental health issues, this portrayal of mental illness as closely linked with violence exacerbates a false perception about people with these illnesses, many of whom live healthy, productive lives.
'In an ideal world, reporting would make clear the low percentage of people with mental illness who commit violence.'  In any given year, 20 percent of the U.S. population suffers from mental illness and, over a lifetime, roughly 50 percent receive a diagnosis. For the study, the researchers studied a random sample of 400 news articles that had covered some aspect of mental illness over a 20-year period. All articles appeared in 11 high-circulation, high-viewership media outlets in the United States. The findings show that the most frequently mentioned topic across the study period was violence (55 percent), with 38 percent mentioning violence against others and 29 percent linking mental illness with suicide. Treatment was mentioned in 47 percent of the stories, but just 14 percent described successful treatment for or recovery. 'Stories about successful treatment have the potential to decrease stigma and provide a counter image to depictions of violence, but there are not that many of these types of narratives depicted in the news media,' McGinty says. A deeper look into the media coverage found that stories of mass shootings by individuals with mental illness increased over the course of the study period, from nine percent of all news stories in the first decade to 22 percent in the second decade.'" I hate to admitted it but I had some violence on my record and went to prison for two years where I had my first breakdown before I won my appeal.  I was provoked although that is not an excuse but I would have only done six months in the county jail instead of prison but the judge did not want to give me the law because she knew I would win.
The article ends: "'The number of mass shootings, however, has remained steady over that time period, according to FBI statistics. Among the stories that reported violence toward others, 38 percent mentioned that mental illness can increase the risk of such violence while only eight percent mentioned that most people with mental illness are never or rarely violent toward others.
The specific mental illness most frequently connected to violence in the news was schizophrenia (17 percent) and the two most frequently mentioned risk factors for violence other than mental illness were drug use (five percent) and stressful life events (five percent). One limitation of the study is that it did not include stories from local television news, where a large proportion of Americans get their news. McGinty says that the negative reporting adds to the perception that people with mental illness are dangerous. This is a stigmatizing portrayal that prior studies have shown leads to a desire for social distance from people with mental illness. She concedes, however, that it may be difficult for members of the news media not to assume mental illness is in play because of the idea among many that anyone who would commit violence, especially mass shootings, must have mental illness.
'Anyone who kills people is not mentally healthy. We can all agree on that,' McGinty says. 'But it’s not necessarily true that they have a diagnosable illness. They may have anger or emotional issues, which can be clinically separate from a diagnosis of mental illness.' 'Violence may stem from alcohol or drug use, issues related to poverty or childhood abuse. But these elements are rarely discussed. And as a result, coverage is skewed toward assuming mental illness first.'" I know all my times being arrested were the result of alcohol. After twenty eight years of not drinking I do not miss it at all.  For me it a matter of being free to do what I want to do. I can say today if I was provoked again I would walk away it is wrong for me to put my freedom in the hands of others.  Plus I now have my grandkids that I do not want to grow up the way I did I do not blame anyone but myself because I was a lot smarter than that but alcohol changes a person to make stupid mistakes.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Analysis of genetic repeats suggests role for DNA instability in schizophrenia

That is the title of this article I am reviewing today.  "An international research team has revealed extensive genetic variation in patients with schizophrenia. Significantly more copy number variations (CNVs) of genomic DNA were detected in patients than in controls. Patients also showed different disease severity, which appears associated with the CNVs' number and variable expressivity. These findings enabled the researchers to propose a genetic model of schizophrenia in which genomic instability underlies disease development. Variations in the number of DNA sequence repeats are known to exist between individuals. Some of these copy number variations (CNVs) are associated with disease, as with schizophrenia, wherein rare CNVs on chromosomes, including 1, 15, 16, and 22, are more common among patients than among controls. However, previous studies have not fully investigated the effect of particular CNVs, especially those on the X chromosome, on patient characteristics. Nor have they examined the genes responsible for CNVs in schizophrenia, which would aid understanding of disease development." I hope this study does not take to long I sure would like to know before I die what caused this disease with me.  I am always watching my grand kids hoping I did not pass this disease on.
The article goes on to say: "An international research team centered at Nagoya University has now used a technique based on DNA fragments labeled with different fluorescent markers to reveal high levels of genetic heterogeneity (whereby several different genetic defects can cause the same symptoms) in schizophrenia. They also observed that the CNVs associated with schizophrenia affected gene categories controlling repair of DNA damage, which may underlie disease mechanisms. The study was reported in the Springer Nature journal Molecular Psychiatry. The technique the researchers used was more sensitive and of a higher resolution than previous methods. This allowed detection of more CNVs, especially small ones, which accounted for 70% of all CNVs. Significantly more clinically important CNVs were seen in the DNA of 1,699 patients with schizophrenia than in the 824 control individuals, while abnormal numbers of X chromosomes were also associated with disease. High genetic heterogeneity was revealed by the detection of these CNVs at 67 different regions in 9% of patients. Further variation was observed in the effect of the CNVs on patient characteristics in that some CNVs were carried by controls without causing any symptoms." Without causing symptoms.  There has only been one other person in my family that had a mental illness and he is a second cousin. I do not have it bad. I went to college and have a good job. Although it always lingers why.  Why did I have to spend five years in the state hospital.  Why I had finally had my life in order except for the drinking.
The article ends: "'Patients with clinically important CNVs showed a range of characteristics, such as developmental problems and refusal to accept treatment,' first author Itaru Kushima says. 'And, the presence of two CNVs resulted in a more severe phenotype.' The researchers looked closely at the genetic regions containing CNVs to identify several gene categories associated with schizophrenia that may be affected by genetic disturbance. These include oxidative stress response, which leads to DNA damage when imbalanced, and genomic integrity, involving DNA repair and replication.
'We propose that CNVs affecting oxidative stress response and genomic integrity lead to genomic instability that may cause further CNVs," corresponding author Norio Ozaki says. "This model helps explain the new CNVs seen in previous studies on schizophrenia, as well as the differences in affected patients' phenotypes.'" I do not know although this is the first study I am excited about with DNA I think they can figure this out,  I just hope so!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Even when help is just a click away, stigma is still a roadblock

That is the title of this article I am reviewing today. "Stigma is a major barrier preventing people with mental health issues from getting the help they need. Even in a private and anonymous setting online, someone with greater self-stigma is less likely to take that first step to get information about mental health concerns and counseling, according to a new Iowa State University study. Daniel Lannin, lead author, psychology graduate student and clinical intern at ISU's Student Counseling Service, says self-stigma is a powerful obstacle to overcome. The study was designed specifically to measure how participants responded when given the opportunity to learn more online about mental health concerns and university counseling services. Of the 370 college students who participated in the study, only 8.7 percent clicked the link for mental health information and 9 percent sought counseling information. However, those numbers dropped to 2.2 percent and 3.5 percent respectively, among people with high self-stigma. 'It's not just the fear of seeing a counselor or therapist,' Lannin said. 'It's actually when people are sitting at home or on their phone. That stigma prevents them from even learning more information about depression or about counseling.'"Wow this has not been in the news for awhile now.  I've done a lot of posts about stigma.  It happened to me when I was first diagnosed and told people I had a mental illness.  It just does not come up for me because I have not had to tell anyone that I have a mental illness.
The article goes on to say:  "The results, published in the Journal of Counseling Psychology, illustrate the need for better stigma interventions, he said. Lannin is developing and testing different online interventions, but it's difficult because such efforts are often rejected. 'A lot of people with higher levels of stigma won't even entertain the possibility of a stigma intervention because they see the intervention as going to therapy to be more open to therapy,' Lannin said. 'It's like telling someone who doesn't like vegetables to eat some broccoli to get over it.' Lannin knows that interventions work. In a previous study, he found participants were more open to receiving help-seeking information after writing a brief essay about a personal value. He says the challenge is designing the intervention so it's not threatening to a person with greater stigma.
College is a time when mental illness is often diagnosed
One in five people struggle with mental illness, and many don't get help, Lannin said. Those who do wait an average of 11 years, before finally seeking treatment. Lannin says distressed students in the study were more likely to click the link for information (8.5 percent probability for those with high self-stigma, compared to 17.1 percent for those with low self-stigma). Distress is like the gas pedal and stigma the brake, he said. Unfortunately, by the time someone reaches a high level of distress, he or she is often struggling to function.'" The reason I do not tell anyone because it can exclude me from housing as it has it the past when I told the landlord I had  a mental illness. It happens with this blog if I were to make it public as I have done in the past they will not click on it.
The article ends: "'Identifying distressed students can be difficult because distress affects people in different ways. The main thing we notice is impairment in functioning across multiple spheres. They struggle with school work or with family relationships and friendships. If it gets bad enough, they might struggle with hygiene or start strongly contemplating suicide,' Lannin said. 'It's not just that they feel bad; it's that functionally they're impaired.' According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, three-quarters of all chronic mental illness begins by age 24. Lannin says for many young adults this is a time of transition -- going to college, working full-time and moving away from home -- adding to the reasons they may not seek help. This is another consideration when designing interventions and educational information, Lannin said. In the paper, Lannin and his colleagues suggested adding brief self-affirmation activities to websites frequented by at-risk populations, as well as links to additional mental health and treatment information. Self-affirmation interventions could also be incorporated into outreach events organized by university counseling centers.'" Suicide and mental illness a person does not understand what is happening to them and they feel suicide is the only way to stop what is happening.  I wrote about suicide in an earlier post.  I think the guilt of when a person commits suicide is the hardest thing because you realize if I had only said this or done this maybe that would have helped. Life is hard enough if without the guilt.  The latest suicide was my ex-wife on my moms birthday May sixteenth of last year.  It is hard to understand.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Unusual combo reduces health risk from atypical antipsychotic

That is the title of this article I  am reviewing today. "Atypical antipsychotics, though effective for treating disorders like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression, gives patients a heightened risk of developing new-onset diabetes. A new data mining study, however, has found a way to relieve this side effect. The study, published in Scientific Reports, shows that taking vitamin D ameliorates the risk of developing new-onset diabetes from atypical antipsychotics like quetiapine. The consequences of developing diabetes from taking antipsychotics are dire, as they occasionally cause life-threatening conditions and sometimes even death."Diabetes is no laughing matter.  I am diabetic only my is diet controlled and I walk for exercise.  Although I have not taken any medicine for it in five years it can always come back if I am not vigilant in what I eat.
The article goes on to say: "Members of Shuji Kaneko's lab at Kyoto University looked for potential antidotes on the US FDA's Adverse Event Reporting (FAERS) system, which is the largest database of self-reported adverse side effects. 'We found that patients who had coincidentally been prescribed vitamin D with quetiapine were less likely to have hyperglycaemia,' says Kaneko. 'It's unusual for vitamin D to be prescribed with quetiapine because it is typically prescribed to treat osteoporosis; in fact, there were only 1232 cases in the world where vitamin D was prescribed with quetiapine. Data mining proved helpful in locating these cases.' The team confirmed this finding with further tests on mice; the group of mice that was fed vitamin D along with quetiapine had significantly lower levels of blood sugar than those that took only quetiapine.'"  What also works to bring down blood sugar is cinnamon two five hundred pills in the morning with breakfast.  I have not tried it for a full three months yet because I was in the hospital and could not take it for awhile.  Yet when I did an A1C test my blood sugar was a 5.4 which is good because before It was 5.6 to close for me.
The article ends with: "'Interestingly, vitamin D on its own doesn't lower diabetes risk, but it certainly defends against the insulin-lowering effects of quetiapine,' elaborates lead author Takuya Nagashima. 'We clarified the molecular mechanisms of how quetiapine causes hyperglycaemia using datasets in a genomics data repository. Through this we found that quetiapine reduces the amount of a key enzyme called PI3K that gets produced. Vitamin D stops quetiapine from lowering PI3K production.'
Databases like FAERS aren't just for making drug regulations; they have so much potential for side-effect relief using pre-existing drugs,' says Kaneko. 'There's a lot we can hope for from reverse translational research like this'" Yes what ever works to help people because no one wants diabetes.  There are to many other things to worry about than diabetes.  To check your blood sugar everyday that was what was a total drag for me so I worked to not have to check and take medicine everyday beside what I always have to take which mostly a lot of supplements to make my life easier.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Brains of Healthy Sibs May Reveal New Clues to Schizophrenia

That is the title of this article I am reviewing today."Comparing the brains of schzophrenia patients to healthy siblings may reveal significant clues to the debilitating disease, according to a new study at Michigan State University. The research is the first to look at the neurotransmitters glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acidergic (GABA) with a noninvasive imaging test called magnetic resonance spectroscopy in both schizophrenia patients and the healthy siblings of schizophrenia patients.
Glutamate promotes the firing of brain cells, and GABA inhibits this neural firing. They work hand in hand to regulate brain function. At this time, most schizophrenia drugs regulate dopamine, another neurotransmitter in the brain; however, these medications do not work for everyone. Many researchers believe there are multiple risk factors for the illness, including imbalances in both dopamine and glutamate/GABA, and this has been confirmed by several studies. However, the exact relationship has remained unclear. Currently there is no medication for schizophrenia that targets the glutamate/GABA system. In fact, medication for schizophrenia has changed very little in the past 50 years and remains somewhat limited in its effectiveness."Maybe they will come out with new medications that work for everyone who has this disease.  There are so many studies maybe one will help one of theses days.
The article goes on to say: "The study involved 21 patients with chronic schizophrenia, 23 healthy relatives (the relatives were siblings of other patients with schizophrenia, not the patients in the study) and a control group of 24 healthy subjects. It was performed in collaboration with researchers at the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands, where Thakkar served as a postdoctoral fellow. According to the findings, both schizophrenia patients and healthy relatives show reduced levels of glutamate. But while the patients also showed reduced levels of GABA, the relatives had normal amounts of the inhibitory neurotransmitter. This prompted the researchers to ask two questions: First, if glutamate is altered, why do these relatives not show symptoms of the illness? And, second, how did healthy relatives maintain normal levels of GABA even though they, like the patients, were genetically predisposed to schizophrenia and had altered glutamate levels?" I would say that the GABA is what causes schizophrenia maybe. Because it would seem the two go hand in hand in this study.
The article ends: "'This finding is what’s most exciting about our study,” said lead investigator Dr. Katharine Thakkar, Michigan State University assistant professor of clinical psychology. 'It hints at what kinds of things have to go wrong for someone to express this vulnerability toward schizophrenia.' 'The study gives us more specific clues into what kinds of systems we want to tackle when we’re developing new treatments for this very devastating illness.' The brain scan used in the study — which is conducted on a conventional MRI machine — could eventually help clinicians target more specific treatments. 'There are likely different causes of the different symptoms and possibly different mechanisms of the illness across individuals,' Thakkar said. 'In the future, as this imaging technique becomes more refined, it could conceivably be used to guide individual treatment recommendations. That is, this technique might indicate that one individual would benefit more from treatment A and another individual would benefit more from treatment B, when these different treatments have different mechanisms of action.'"That is what I say everyone is different so they would have different symptoms.  I still do not know if I will see treatments and what really causes this disease before I die.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Brains of Schizophrenia Patients May Be Reversing Effects of the Disease

That is the title of this article I am reviewing today. "The brains of patients with slchizophrenia may be trying to reorganize and fight the illness, according to a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) study conducted by an international team of scientists. This is the first time that imaging data has been used to show how our brains may have the ability to reverse the effects of schizophrenia. Although schizophrenia is generally associated with a widespread reduction in brain tissue volume, the new findings reveal a subtle and simultaneous increase in brain tissue in certain regions. The researchers followed 98 patients with schizophrenia and compared them to 83 patients without schizophrenia. Using MRI and a statistical approach called covariance analysis, the research team measured any increases in brain tissue. Due to the subtlety and the distributed nature of increase, this has not been demonstrated in patients until now."I would not know that last time I had a relapse was in 1994.  It was not as bad as the original illness that came on in 1988 although it was enough to send me back to the state hospital because it was worse each day.
The article goes on to say: "According to Lawson Health Research Institute’s Dr. Lena Palaniyappan, there is an overarching feeling that curing people with a severe mental illness, such as schizophrenia, is not possible. This stems from the long-held notion that schizophrenia is a degenerative illness, with the seeds of damage sown very early during the course of brain development. 'Even the state-of-art frontline treatments aim merely for a reduction rather than a reversal of the cognitive and functional deficits caused by the illness,' said Palaniyappan, medical director at the Prevention & Early Intervention Program for Psychoses (PEPP) at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC). 'Our results highlight that despite the severity of tissue damage, the brain of a patient with schizophrenia is constantly attempting to reorganize itself, possibly to rescue itself or limit the damage,' said Palaniyappan.'" It makes me wonder about that psychiatrist who kept me without medication for six months or longer if I would have been so ill that I wonder if I started hearing voices for the first time at the state hospital.
The article ends: "The next step is to study the evolution of this brain tissue reorganization process by repeatedly scanning individual patients with early schizophrenia and to investigate the effect of this reorganization on their recovery. 'These findings are important not only because of their novelty and the rigour of the study, but because they point the way to the development of targeted treatments that potentially could better address some of the core pathology in schizophrenia,' said Dr. Jeffrey Reiss, Site Chief, Psychiatry, LHSC. The project is part of an international collaboration among scientists in Nottingham, UK, Shanghai and Changsha, People’s Republic of China, Robarts Research Institutes at Western University and Lawson Health Research Institute.'" Yeah it seems like they have to catch this disease early on to make this benefit if there is one.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Brain Structure Linked to Hallucinations

That is the title of this article I am reviewing today. "Scientists have uncovered differences in the brains of people with schizophrenia who do and do not have hallucinations. Dr. Jon Simons and colleagues at Cambridge University, UK, looked at structural MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans of 153 individual brains: 113 scans were from people with schizophrenia and 40 from similar participants without schizophrenia. Among the schizophrenia patients, 78 had a history of hallucinations and 34 did not. The team measured the length of the paracingulate sulcus (PCS), a fold toward the front of the brain, in each scan. This indicated a link between length of the PCS and the tendency to hallucinate. On average, the patients suffering hallucinations had a PCS that was about two centimeters shorter than those without hallucinations, and three centimeters shorter than the non-schizophrenic group. This suggests that a one centimeter reduction in the fold’s length is linked to a 20 percent rise in the chance of hallucinations. The association applied to both auditory and visual hallucinations. Dr. Simons explained that the team selected patients to put into each group such that those two groups were as directly comparable as possible. Factors such as age, sex, medication and even whether participants were left- or right-handed were all taken into account. 'So as close as we can get it,' Dr. Simons said, 'the only difference between those two groups is that one group experiences hallucinations and the other one doesn’t.' The team says this is consistent with an explanation based on “reality monitoring.” The PCS is thought to play a role in distinguishing self-generated information from that perceived in the outside world. Details are published in the journal Nature Communications. In scans of healthy people, Dr. Simons has previously found that variation in the length of the PCS was linked to reality monitoring. He says, 'Schizophrenia is a complex spectrum of conditions that is associated with many differences throughout the brain, so it can be difficult to make specific links between brain areas and the symptoms that are often observed.'" I heard voices I think after I was at the state hospital.  I had been left crazy since I was locked up because the psychiatrist did not  like me and would not help me.  I am not very sure if I heard voices or not.
The article goes on to say: "'By comparing brain structure in a large number of people diagnosed with schizophrenia with and without the experience of hallucinations, we have been able to identify a particular brain region that seems to be associated with a key symptom of the disorder.' Changes in other areas of the brain are likely also important in generating the complex phenomena of hallucinations, he adds. If further work shows that the difference can be detected before the onset of symptoms, it might be possible to offer extra support to people who face that elevated risk.
But hallucinations are just one of the main symptoms of schizophrenia, and patients are diagnosed on the basis of other irregular thought processes. Researcher Dr. Jane Garrison says the PCS is one of the last structural folds to develop in the brain before birth, and varies in size between individuals.
She adds, 'We think that the PCS is involved in brain networks that help us recognize information that has been generated ourselves. People with a shorter PCS seem less able to distinguish the origin of such information, and appear more likely to experience it as having been generated externally.
'Hallucinations are very complex phenomena that are a hallmark of mental illness and, in different forms, are also quite common across the general population. There is likely to be more than one explanation for why they arise, but this finding seems to help explain why some people experience things that are not actually real.'" I have never experienced nothing that is not real.  It would be hard for people that did not to know that what you are hearing or visualizing is not real.
The article ends with: "The team concludes that, 'To be able to pin such a key symptom to a relatively specific part of the brain is quite unusual.' Commenting on the work, Professor Stephen Lawrie of the University of Edinburgh, UK, states, 'There’s quite a strong literature showing that auditory hallucinations are related to dysfunction or structural disruption in language areas of the brain. 'I think the value of this is that it probably helps us think slightly more broadly about hallucinations in schizophrenia, in terms of it not just being about language areas of the brain, but involving a more distributed network of regions, and implicating, in particular, cognitive control or higher-order cognitive functioning.' Professor Lawrie has also studied brain structure in relation to schizophrenia and hallucinations. He says the form and content of hallucinations can vary considerably between patients and believes that different brain changes may reflect these different processes. His work has found indications for a role for the lateral temporal cortex in hallucinations. This type of investigation 'may have relevance for the understanding of the biological basis of the disorder,' he concludes.'" It does have relevance for people that have theses problems when they have this disorder to understand what happened to them.  I do wish that I would like to know why this happened to me and why at that age besides the stress I was going through the first time and second time it happened.