Hearing Voices Network Responds to Susan Inman HuffPo Piece

On Saturday morning, Susan Inman, writing for HuffPost Canada, published “What You’re not Hearing About the Hearing Voices Movement.” Inman criticizes the Hearing Voices Network for “failing to differentiate between the needs of people who actually have psychotic disorders and those who don't.”  On Sunday the Bay Area Hearing Voices Network published an open letter in response, writing: “Ms. Inman has profoundly mischaracterized hearing voices networks (HVNs) and also demonstrates a troubling lack of understanding of the empirical literature on psychosis, optimal psychosocial intervention and recovery.”

HVN Open Letter → More →

Categorized In:

Younger Relative Age in School a Risk Factor for Psychosis

A study published in the journal of Psychiatry Research found that younger childhood age relative to one's classmates may be a risk factor for adult psychotic experiences.  This research supports claims that environmental factors such as school-related difficulties and marginalization contribute to psychosis. More →

Categorized In:

Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help Prevent Transition to Psychosis

“When people with early-stage symptoms took omega-3 supplements for three months, they had much lower rates of progression than those who did not,” according to research out of Australia covered in this month’s issue of the New ScientistMore →

Categorized In:

Minnesota Rolls Out Funding for Innovative First Episode Psychosis Treatment

The Minnesota State Legislature approved $1 million in funding through 2019 to build a network of community clinics and outreach programs that provide therapy, support and treatment to individuals experiencing an initial presentation of symptoms associated with psychosis.  The first $260,000 of funding will be distributed through grants over the next two years.  The new programs will be modeled after the University at Minnesota’s first episode psychosis program, which has pioneered efforts to incorporate family education and training into therapy focused treatment programs.

Article

More →

Categorized In:

Antipsychotic Dose Reduction Linked To Long-term Improvements In First-Episode Schizophrenia Patients

Careful reductions in dosage levels of antipsychotic medications over time improved long-term rates of recovery and functional remission in patients diagnosed with a first-episode psychosis, according to a study led by Lex Wunderink reported in a Supplement of European Psychiatry. More →

Categorized In:

No Treatments Have “Clinically Meaningful” Impacts On Negative Symptoms of Schizophrenia

While most treatments have had "statistically significant" success in clinical trials, no common psychiatric or psychological treatments improve what are termed "negative" symptoms of schizophrenia at levels that are "clinically meaningful," according to a meta-analysis in Schizophrenia Bulletin. More →

Categorized In:

Early Intervention For Psychosis Programs Arrive Too Late, Don’t Address Childhood Adversity

Early intervention in psychosis (EIP) efforts have not delivered on their promise of preventing more serious schizophrenia from developing, according to a review of the literature published in Progress in Neurology and Psychiatry. And the problem may be, the authors argued, that EIP efforts actually still come too late while attempting to address the wrong causes. More →

Categorized In:

Troubled Neighborhoods Seem to Raise Risk of Psychotic Disorder Diagnoses

People who live in more "disorganized" and troubled neighborhoods -- especially high-crime ones -- are more likely to get diagnoses of psychotic disorders, according to a study in Psychological Medicine. More →

Categorized In:

No Brain Abnormalities in Early Psychosis

Brain scans of Singapore youth in a high risk mental state for psychosis found no evidence of brain abnormalities, according to a study in Schizophrenia Bulletin. More →

Categorized In:

A Review of Issues Surrounding Marijuana and Madness

In Psychiatric Times, Robin Murray discusses a number of studies and what the balance of evidence seems to be saying about the relationship between cannabis use and increased risk of short or long-term psychotic reactions in some people. More →

Categorized In:

Negative Schizophrenia Symptoms Reduce Over Time — With or Without Treatment

The strength of "negative" symptoms of schizophrenia such as blunted speech, social withdrawal and inability to experience pleasure tends to reduce over time both with and without treatment, according to a study in Psychological Medicine. More →

Categorized In:

The Ethical Challenges of Early Intervention in Psychosis

In Schizophrenia Bulletin, Columbia University psychiatrist Paul Applebaum reviews the challenges of intervening early in psychosis before symptoms emerge, and of doing so in an ethically responsible manner when risks may outweigh possible benefits. More →

Categorized In:

How Can We Build a Better Evidence Base for Treating Psychosis with Therapy?

A commentary in Frontiers in Psychology suggests that the evidence to support the use of cognitive behavioral therapy as a treatment for psychosis is tenuous, in part because the actual practice of CBT itself is so variable when used with people experiencing such diverse symptoms. More →

Categorized In:

Evidence Tentative for Links Between Cat Parasite and Schizophrenia

The balance of evidence "suggests" some kind of association between T. gondii, a common parasite found in cats, and schizophrenia, bipolar, obsessive-compulsive disorder and addiction, according to a meta-analysis in Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica. However, the relationship does not seem to be as strong as has been argued by other researchers such as E. Fuller Torrey, the authors wrote. More →

Categorized In:

Antipsychotic-induced Sexual Dysfunction Underreported

Most people diagnosed with schizophrenia have the same interest in sex as the general population, but experience higher levels of sexual dysfunction in large part due to antipsychotic medications, according to a review of the literature published in Schizophrenia Bulletin. The researchers found some antipsychotics to be worse than others, and that clinicians rarely discuss sexual issues with patients. More →

Categorized In:

“Insight” into “Mental Illness” Associated with Depression, Poorer Life Satisfaction

Many people being treated for mental illnesses feel slightly more depressed and much less satisfied with their lives if they have greater "insight" into their illnesses, according to a study in Schizophrenia Research. "Insight" was defined by the authors as being related to acknowledgement of one's illness along with "treatment adherence" and "treatment engagement." More →

Categorized In:

“Treatment Resistant” Schizophrenia Strongly Linked to Dopamine Supersensitivity

Over 70% of schizophrenia patients who are "treatment resistant" have apparently developed dopamine supersensitivity psychosis from long-term use of antipsychotic medications, according to a study in Psychiatry Research. More →

Categorized In:

Exercise is an Effective Intervention for Schizophrenia

Separately, two intervention trials and a meta-analysis of the scientific literature found that aerobic exercise significantly helps people struggling with schizophrenia. More →

Categorized In:

Childhood Trauma Connected to Severity of Hallucinations in Ethnic Minorities

The reason that ethnic minorities with psychosis in Norway experience higher levels of severe hallucinations seems to be related to the fact that they also have typically experienced more severe trauma and abuse in their childhoods, according to research in Psychological Medicine. More →

Categorized In:

More Concerns About Links Between Marijuana Use and Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia Bulletin has published three new articles exploring issues related to marijuana use and schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research has also this month published two articles. More →

Categorized In:

Smoking May Thin the Brain Cortex, Increase Dementia, Schizophrenia Risks

Two research reports in Nature have suggested links between smoking and impacts on brain thickness and plasticity, while a commentary in The Lancet Psychiatry discussed what the apparent strong links between smoking and schizophrenia may mean. More →

Categorized In:

“Recovery, Not Progressive Illness, Should Be the Expectation in Schizophrenia”

In World Psychiatry, two Canadian psychiatrists argue that the body of scientific evidence about schizophrenia shows that it is not a progressive illness and therefore we should have much higher expectations of full recoveries than we do. More →

Categorized In:

No Proven Treatments of Any Kind for Psychosis or Schizophrenia in Children or Youth

There are no proven treatments of any kind for children or adolescents experiencing psychosis or schizophrenia, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized comparison trials published in PLOS One. More →

Categorized In:

Do Psychological Therapies for Schizophrenia and Psychosis Work? – A Debate

The journal Progress in Neurology and Psychiatry hosts a debate between Peter Kinderman, one of the co-authors of the British Psychological Society's recent Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia report, and two authors whose meta-analysis of cognitive behavioral therapy was cited in that report. More →

Categorized In:

Heavy Marijuana Use Associated With Three Times Higher Risk of Psychosis

People who smoke high-potency marijuana, especially if they do so daily, are at a three to five times greater risk of experiencing hospitalization for psychosis than people who smoke low-potency marijuana or no marijuana at all, according to research in The Lancet Psychiatry. More →

Categorized In: