Loss of a Parent in Childhood Raises Psychosis Risk

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Children who lose a parent before the age of 3 are 84% more likely to experience psychosis as adults, according to research published in...

Why Paul Steinberg Has It All Wrong (and Should Stop Seeing Patients)

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(This commentary originally ran on Beyond Meds) In his New York Times op-ed entitled “Our Failed Approach to Schizophrenia“ Paul Steinberg, a psychiatrist in private practice, proposes we...

NIMH: RAISE Study to Have Immediate Clinical Impact

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In a Science Update, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) reports that Medicaid services is already taking steps to implement “coordinated specialty care” (CSC) in response to the RAISE study released last week. “The RAISE initiative has shown that coordinated specialty care for first episode psychosis is better than the standard care offered in community clinics. However, covering the cost of coordinated specialty care can be challenging. When Medicaid agrees to pay for effective treatment programs, patients in need benefit.”

DSM-5 Retreats from Some Controversial Diagnoses

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The APA DSM-5 Development website announced today that "Psychosis Risk" and "Mixed Anxiety Depression" will not be included in the DSM-5 (apart from recommendations...

Mental Health Documentary “Healing Voices” Premiers Across 130 Communities in 8 Countries

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The producers of “Healing Voices” ­‐ a new social action documentary about mental health ­‐ are releasing the film via community screening partners in...

How are Professional Artists Similar and Different from People Diagnosed with Schizophrenia?

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People "who are prone to psychosis" in its most "extreme" forms, such as delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized thought, have been found to also show...

Psychiatrists’ Prescriptions for First-time Psychosis Often Don’t Follow Guidelines

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"Many patients with first-episode psychosis receive medications that do not comply with recommended guidelines for first-episode treatment," states a National Institute of Mental Health...

“New ‘Smart’ Drugs Tell Doctor You’re Not Taking Them”

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The Washington Examiner reports that the manufacturer of the antipsychotic Abilify is seeking FDA approval for new digitized pills that would alert doctors if patients fail to take their drugs on schedule.

“More Evidence that Antipsychotics Shrink the Brain”

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New research finds that brain matter loss in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia is correlated with antipsychotic use, according to Psych Central. The analysis suggests that the continued use of antipsychotics is linked with progressive cortical gray matter loss.

How Much can a Psychiatrist Charge to Visit With a Dead Research Subject?

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At the University of Minnesota, the answer is apparently $1,446. If harmless clerical errors were to blame for oddities like this, that fact should be easy to clarify simply by looking at the relevant documents.  But if there are systematic issues with the administration of clinical trials that makes it possible to bill for a visit with a dead subject, those issues would be important for other universities and private trial sites as well. 

Emotional Numbing Links Trauma and Callousness

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A sample of 276 youth recruited from 2 juvenile detention centers found that the association between trauma exposure and callous-unemotional traits was mediated by...

Neuroscientists Recreate Ghostly Presences in Laboratory

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Neuroscientists have been able to consistently recreate in people the feeling of another person or ghostly entity hovering nearby, according to a study reported...

Researcher Acknowledges His Mistakes in Understanding Schizophrenia

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Sir Robin Murray, a professor at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience in London, states that he ignored social factors that contribute to ‘schizophrenia’ for too long. He also reports that he neglected the negative effects antipsychotic medication has on the brain.

Hallucinations Reported as Side Effect of ADHD Medication

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Hallucinations and other psychotic symptoms have been reported after methylphenidate (Ritalin) treatment for ADHD.

Could “Brain Training” Help with “Schizophrenia Storms”?

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NPR Shots discusses a new study examining whether people struggling with schizophrenia sensory overloads can train their own brains to more effectively deal with...

Researchers Warn of “Brain Atrophy” in Children Prescribed Antipsychotics

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Researchers discuss the evidence that antipsychotic medications may cause brain atrophy in children, whose brains are still developing.

“Emotional Child Abuse May be Just as Bad as Physical Harm”

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Reuters covers a new study in JAMA Psychiatry that suggests that children exposed to physical abuse and emotional abuse suffer from similar psychological and behavioral problems. “Even though doctors and parents often believe physical or sexual abuse is more harmful than emotional mistreatment or neglect, the study found children suffered similar problems regardless of the type of maltreatment endured.”

Guiding Voices, Trauma-Induced Voices

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I have facilitated support groups and worked one-on-one with those who hear voices for nearly 10 years.. The insights I've come to from my own experience have often facilitated understanding for others. Here is what I have learned from my experience of hearing voices.

University Owes Mistreated Psychiatric Subjects an Apology

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The University of Minnesota recently announced that it is ending the controversial practice of recruiting study participants from patients involuntarily being held in their psychiatric unit. In a commentary for Minnesota’s Star Tribune, bioethicist and MIA contributor Carl Elliot reports that the university has still not apologized to the patient who spoke out against this practice. Instead, “the university has done its best to discredit him.”

Social Recovery Therapy for First Episode Psychosis

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Social Recovery Therapy shows promising results for individuals who experience first-episode psychosis.

Quotations From the Genetics “Graveyard”: Nearly Half a Century of False Positive Gene Discovery...

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In a 1992 essay, British psychiatric genetic researcher Michael Owen wondered whether schizophrenia molecular genetic research would become the “graveyard of molecular geneticists.”1 Owen predicted that if major schizophrenia genes existed, they would be found within five years of that date. He was optimistic, believing that “talk of graveyards is premature.”2 Owen now believes that genes for schizophrenia and other disorders have been found, and was subsequently knighted for his work. Despite massively improved technology, however, decades of molecular genetic gene finding attempts have failed to provide consistently replicated evidence of specific genes that play a role in causing the major psychiatric disorders.

The Slow Torture of Mary Weiss

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Dan Markingson was floridly psychotic and unable to give informed consent when University of Minnesota researchers coerced him into an industry-funded drug study. His mother, Mary Weiss, warned the researchers that Dan was in danger of killing himself, but she was ignored. Dan committed a violent suicide in 2004. Last week, after fighting the university and research regulators for nine years, Mary suffered a severe stroke. Her struggle for justice is in serious danger.

“Schizophrenia Breakthrough” – Or a Case of Ignoring the Most Important Evidence?

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Last week, the headlines blared: "Schizophrenia breakthrough as genetic study reveals link to brain changes!"  We heard that our best hope for treating “schizophrenia” is to understand it at a genetic level, and that this new breakthrough would get us really started on that mission, as it showed how a genetic variation could lead to the more intense pruning of brain connections, which is often seen in those diagnosed with schizophrenia.  “For the first time, the origin of schizophrenia is no longer a complete black box,” said one (while admitting that "it's still early days").  The acting director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) described the study as “a crucial turning point in the fight against mental illness.” But is all this hype justified?

The Myth of Schizophrenia as a Progressive Brain Disease

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Noted schizophrenia researchers Robin Murray, Robert Zipursky and Thomas Reilly write in Schizophrenia Bulletin that "mental health professionals need to join with patients and...

“Auditory Hallucinations: Debunking the Myth of Language Supremacy”

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In Schizophrenia Bulletin, an Australian and a French researcher argue that the Hearing Voices Movement and similar groups are often misleading the public and...