NARSAD Investigators Join in Online Discussion on Schizophrenia

NARSAD Young Investigator Andrea Auther and Lieber Prize Winner John Kane take part in a live discussion about research on the early stages of schizophrenia. This is part of a series of summer discussions hosted by Schizophrenia Research Forum (SRF) and the International Congress on Schizophrenia Research (ICOSR) leading up to next year’s 13th International Congress on Schizophrenia Research in Colorado Springs, Colorado.


Submitted b Anna

Schizophrenia — The Dana Guide

A popular but erroneous myth about schizophrenia is that it means a “split personality,” as in the movie The Three Faces of Eve. Instead, schizophrenia is an illness that affects a variety of mental functions as well as a person’s ability to think clearly and feel intensely. The word itself stresses how the functions of the mind are fragmented: schizo means “fragmented,” and phren means “mind.” Schizophrenic symptoms include changes in the entire gamut of human mental activities.

Symptoms of schizophrenia are typically divided into positive and negative categories. In the case of positive symptoms, a person’s mental functions are exaggerated or distorted; in the case of negative symptoms, they are diminished or absent. The table on page 391 summarizes each group and the mental functions that are impaired. For doctors to diagnose schizophrenia, the symptoms must be causing a person significant impairment at work, at school, or in personal relationships.

The natural course of schizophrenia can vary, but it typically starts with a person becoming somewhat more apathetic and withdrawn. During this phase of the illness the patient may be misdiagnosed as suffering from depression or a “personality disorder.” At some point clear symptoms of schizophrenia appear, and doctors recognize the condition.

Nancy C. Andreasen
The Dana Guide to Brain Health
A Practical Family Reference from Medical Experts

Submitted by Anna

Dopamine Connections May Link Creativity, Psychiatric Disorders

Roman philosopher Seneca once penned, “There is no great genius without a tincture of madness.” For centuries, philosophers and scientists have wondered about the nature of the relationship between creativity, a trait critical to genius, and psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. A recent study in the journal PLoS One suggests that the density of a certain type of dopamine receptor on the thalamus, a brain area linked to passing sensory information to the cerebral cortex, may play a role.

Reported by Kayt Sukel
The DANA Foundation

Submitted by Anna

Large Risk Schizophrenia Marker Revealed

A group of scientists has identified a genetic variant that substantially increases the risk for developing schizophrenia in Ashkenazi Jewish and other populations. The study, published on August 5th in the American Journal of Human Genetics, associates a deletion on chromosome 3 with increased incidence of schizophrenia.

Science Daily
Story Source: The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by Cell Press, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

Submitted by Anna