Sunday, October 23, 2016

Tag: Schizophrenia

Open Dialogue Applied in a Hospital Inpatient Unit for Psychotic Disorders

A column published earlier this month by Psychiatric Services in Advance reports on the development and implementation of a patient-centered initiative based on Open...

Meta-Analysis Finds Exercise Improves Cognition in Individuals with Schizophrenia

A new review, published in Schizophrenia Bulletin, examines the effects of exercise on cognition in individuals diagnosed with 'schizophrenia.' The results of the meta-analysis...

Confessions of a Trespasser

In a recently published commentary in Psychiatric Times, Ronald Pies and Joseph Pierre made this assertion: Only clinicians, with an expertise in assessing the research literature, should be weighing in on the topic of the efficacy of psychiatric drugs. They wrote their commentary shortly after I had published on madinamerica “The Case Against Antipsychotics,” and it was clear they had me in their crosshairs.

Policies Needed to Address Strong Link Between Trauma and Psychosis, Researchers...

A new study, published online ahead of print in the journal Clinical Psychology Review, investigates the underlying connection between the experience of trauma and the...

Study Finds Improved Functioning for ‘Schizophrenia’ Without Antipsychotics

Long-term treatment with antipsychotic drugs is currently considered the standard treatment for patients diagnosed with ‘schizophrenia.’ A new study challenges this practice, however. The...

The Case Against Antipsychotics

This review of the scientific literature, stretching across six decades, makes the case that antipsychotics, over the long-term, do more harm than good. The drugs lower recovery rates and worsen functional outcomes over longer periods of time.

More Children Receiving ‘Off-Label’ Antipsychotics for ‘ADHD’

Over the past twenty years, the number of prescriptions for atypical antipsychotics written to children and young adults between four and eighteen has increased...

Smoking in Pregnancy Linked to Risk of Schizophrenia Diagnosis in Later...

In the first study of its kind, researchers from Finland found the “most definitive evidence to date” that smoking during pregnancy is associated with the eventual diagnosis of schizophrenia in offspring. After controlling for other potential variables, the study, published ahead of print in The American Journal of Psychiatry, revealed a 38% increased odds of developing symptoms diagnosed as schizophrenia in young adults who were exposed to high levels of nicotine in utero.

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

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

“There are no ‘Schizophrenia Genes’: Here’s Why”

Richard Bentall and David Pilgrim offer their critique of genetic theories of schizophrenia for the Conversation. "The high heritability estimates reported in earlier quantitative...

Epidemiologists Decry Major Problems in US Psychiatric Practice

In an exchange published in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, researchers take turns highlighting major problems in the way psychiatry is currently practiced in the United States. In response to an article by Vinay Prasad calling for an insistence on randomized control trials in “evidence-based” medicine, Jose de Leon, from the Mental Health Research Center at the University of Kentucky begins the back-and-forth by pointing out that this type of evidence has been detrimental to the field of mental health.

“Can Adderall Abuse Trigger Temporary Schizophrenia?”

From the Daily Beast: "Amphetamines come with a host of negative side effects, most commonly insomnia and irregular heartbeat. But in less common cases, the...

Schizophrenia in the Golden Ass

What is schizophrenia? According to the website of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, incurable, and disabling brain disorder that affects about 1% of Americans today. Its cause is unknown but most experts assume it is genetic. According to E. Fuller Torrey, the founder and Executive Director of the Stanley Medical Research Institute and a high-profile schizophrenia researcher, “schizophrenia is caused by changes in the brain and ... these can be measured by changes in both brain structure and brain function. … Schizophrenia is thus a disease of the brain in exactly the same sense that Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s disease are diseases of the brain.” Behind this confident rhetoric lies a heated controversy.

“People with Schizophrenia Hear Voices- Their Own”

For Slate, Eliezer Sternberg outlines research suggesting that auditory hallucinations are actually “subvocal speech” produced by the patient themselves. When a schizophrenic patient hears...

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

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?

And Now for Something Completely the Same:  The Latest, Greatest Breakthrough...

Another scientific study that ostensibly identifies a biological cause of schizophrenia has appeared and is being widely reported. So, we finally have the elusive breakthrough to understanding the biological basis of schizophrenia. Or do we? A close look at the source of all this hyperbolic language raises serious questions about such enthusiasm.

Madness and the Family: What Helps, and What Makes Things...

Families are often very important for people encountering severe mental and emotional difficulties. But how can family members really know what is helpful, and what is likely to make things worse for the person having problems? Similarly, for those who want to help families, how can they know what will really be helpful for those families, and what will make things worse?

Experts Decry Dangerous Use of Antipsychotics in Children

In a featured article for Psychiatric Services, psychiatrists from Dartmouth raise the alarm on the increasing numbers of children prescribed dangerous antipsychotic drugs. Despite the fact that data on the safety of long-term use of these drugs in this vulnerable population “do not exist,” the rate of children and adolescents being prescribed antipsychotic drugs have continued to increase over the past fifteen years.

Letters to the Editor: “The Treatment of Choice”

Readers respond to the New York Times article, “The Treatment of Choice,” about innovative programs for psychosis and schizophrenia that involve patients and their families in treatment decisions. “Narratives of success counter a drumbeat of faulty links of mental illness and violence, inaccuracies which serve only to further stigmatize and isolate individuals with psychiatric illness.”

“Cannabis for Schizophrenia – Does it Work?”

The German news agency DW features a video report on whether cannabidiol, an active substance derived from marijuana, can help relieve the symptoms of schizophrenia.

The Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Episode (RAISE) Study: Notes from...

I was a psychiatrist who participated in the Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Episode Early Treatment Program (RAISE ETP). Although I welcomed the positive headlines that heralded the study's results, the reports left me with mixed feelings. What happened to render the notion that talking to people about their experiences and helping them find jobs or go back to school is something novel?

Why Mainstream Psychiatry Fears a Balanced Understanding of Psychosis

Many people are now familiar with the BPS report, Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia, and they have appreciated how it integrates both science and a humanistic understanding to convey a fresh and progressive approach to difficult and extreme experiences. But it has come under attack by psychiatrists, using arguments that are often quite slick, and sound reasonable to the uninformed. But they are wrong, and the better we can articulate how and why they are wrong, the better we can advocate for a more humane and skillful response to people having the experiences that are called “psychosis.”

RAISE Study Out Of Sync With Media Reports

Writing on his 1 Boring Old Man blog, Dr. Mickey Nardo reflects on the media frenzy around the RAISE study and asks why the prescription data has not been released. He adds skepticism about the political motives of the potentially overblown results, which he sees as a clear push for increased mental health funding.

Landmark Schizophrenia Study Recommends More Therapy

Results of a large government-funded study call into question current drug heavy approaches to treating people diagnosed with schizophrenia. The study, which the New York Times called “by far the most rigorous trial to date conducted in the United States,” found that patients who received smaller doses of antipsychotic drugs with individual talk therapy, family training, and support for employment and education had a greater reduction in symptoms as well as increases in quality of life, and participation in work and school than those receiving the current standard of care.

Slow Psychiatry: Integrating Need-Adapted Approaches with Drug-Centered Pharmacology

For the past four years, I have been deconstructing my views of my profession. My focus has been primarily in two areas: the efficacy and safety of the drugs I prescribe and the so-called “alternative” approaches (in this I include many things such as Open Dialogue, Hearing Voices groups, and Intentional Peer Support to name a few). I have shared much of this in the blogs I wrote during this time. I am also interested in how we can improve and reform the public mental health system since this is not only where I work but where most people seek services and help. I wonder where – if anywhere – psychiatrists fit in to a reformed system.

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