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Brain & mental disorder research

waltky

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Link suspected between epilepsy and schizophrenia...
:confused:
Schizophrenia and epilepsy have 'strong link'
19 September 2011 - Researchers say there could be a genetic overlap in epilepsy and schizophrenia patients.
People with schizophrenia are six times more likely to develop epilepsy, says a study which finds a strong relationship between the two diseases. Writing in Epilepsia, researchers in Taiwan say this could be due to genetic, neurobiological or environmental factors. The study followed around 16,000 patients with epilepsy and schizophrenia between 1999 and 2008. An epilepsy expert says it is an interesting and convincing study. The study used data from the Taiwan National Health Insurance database and was led by researchers from the China Medical University Hospital in Taichung.

They identified 5,195 patients with schizophrenia and 11,527 patients with epilepsy who were diagnosed during the nine years period. These groups of patients were compared to groups of the same sex and age who did not have either epilepsy or schizophrenia. The findings show that the incidence of epilepsy was 6.99 per 1,000 person-years in the schizophrenia patient group compared to 1.19 in the non-schizophrenia group. The incidence of schizophrenia was 3.53 per 1,000 person-years for patients with epilepsy compared to 0.46 in the non-epilepsy group. Previous studies had suggested a prevalence of psychosis among epilepsy patients.

Two-way relationship

Researchers in this study also found that schizophrenia levels were slightly higher in men with epilepsy than in women with the disease. Dr I-Ching Chou, associate professor with the China Medical University in Taichung inTaiwan, said: "Our research results show a strong bidirectional relation between schizophrenia and epilepsy. "This relationship may be due to common pathogenesis in these diseases such as genetic susceptibility and environmental factors, but further investigation of the pathological mechanisms are needed." Dr Manny Bagary, consultant neuropsychiatrist in Birmingham, said it was a "very interesting" study.

"We have been aware that epilepsy sufferers seem to be have an increased risk of psychosis but this is the first convincing study to suggest that people with schizophrenia could also be at risk of developing epilepsy, suggesting a bidirectional relationship has been found between depression and epilepsy". "The association may be due to a common environmental factors such as traumatic brain injury or brain haemorrhage in utero. Alternatively, a genetic association may be relevant such as LGI1 or CNTNAP2 genes which have been associated with seizures and psychosis." "However, there may be some questions to ask about the reliability of the schizophrenia and epilepsy diagnoses in the study because it is a retrospective health register study and both conditions can be difficult to diagnose. "Nevertheless, this study will serve to guide further research into the relationship between epilepsy and psychosis."

BBC News - Schizophrenia and epilepsy have 'strong link'
 

editec

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Interesting.

I suspect that there are various causes for mental illnesses but all of them are, in the final analysis, based on trauma to the brain of one kind or the other.

Having worked with people with massive tramas of the brain, and having seen them going through massive changes in personality as a result of these traumatic events, I am convinced that all "mental illness" is the result of deviations from "normal" brain activity.
 
OP
W

waltky

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Granny says if dey scan Uncle Ferd's brain, all dey gonna see is his fat g/f...
:eusa_eh:
Brain Scans Let Computer Reconstruct Movie Scenes
September 22, 2011 — It sounds like science fiction: While volunteers watched movie clips, a scanner watched their brains. And from their brain activity, a computer made rough reconstructions of what they viewed.
Scientists reported that result Thursday and speculated such an approach might be able to reveal dreams and hallucinations someday. In the future, it might help stroke victims or others who have no other way to communicate, said Jack Gallant, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Berkeley, and co-author of the paper. He believes such a technique could eventually reconstruct a dream or other made-up mental movie well enough to be recognizable. But the experiment dealt with scenes being viewed through the eyes at the time of scanning, and it's not clear how much of the approach would apply to scenes generated by the brain instead, he said.

People shouldn't be worried about others secretly eavesdropping on their thoughts in the near future, since the technique requires a person to spend long periods in an MRI machine, he noted. Another expert said he expected any mind-reading capability would appear only far in the future. For now, the reconstructed movie clips are only crude representations, loosely mimicking shapes and movement, but not nearly detailed enough to show that a blurry human-like figure represents the actor Steve Martin, for example.

The new work was published online Thursday by the journal Current Biology. It's a step beyond previous work that produced similar results with still images. The paper reports results from the brain scans of three co-authors, who were chosen because the study subjects had to be motivated enough to lie motionless in an MRI machine for hours and stay alert as they stared at a tiny dot, Gallant said. The machine was used for a technique called functional MRI, or fMRI. Unlike ordinary MRI, which reveals anatomy, fMRI shows brain activity. The first task was to teach the computer how different parts of each subject's brain responded to scenes of moving objects.

Participants stared at a dot to keep their eyes still as movie clips lasting 10 to 20 seconds unfolded in the background. That went on for two hours as the MRI machine tracked activity in their brains. The study focused on parts of the brain that respond to simple features like shapes and movement, rather than other parts that identify objects. So it was limited to "only the most basic parts of vision," Gallant said. Next, the question was: Could the computer use that brain activity information to reconstruct what appeared in the movie clips?

MORE
 

eots

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Link suspected between epilepsy and schizophrenia...
:confused:
Schizophrenia and epilepsy have 'strong link'
19 September 2011 - Researchers say there could be a genetic overlap in epilepsy and schizophrenia patients.
People with schizophrenia are six times more likely to develop epilepsy, says a study which finds a strong relationship between the two diseases. Writing in Epilepsia, researchers in Taiwan say this could be due to genetic, neurobiological or environmental factors. The study followed around 16,000 patients with epilepsy and schizophrenia between 1999 and 2008. An epilepsy expert says it is an interesting and convincing study. The study used data from the Taiwan National Health Insurance database and was led by researchers from the China Medical University Hospital in Taichung.

They identified 5,195 patients with schizophrenia and 11,527 patients with epilepsy who were diagnosed during the nine years period. These groups of patients were compared to groups of the same sex and age who did not have either epilepsy or schizophrenia. The findings show that the incidence of epilepsy was 6.99 per 1,000 person-years in the schizophrenia patient group compared to 1.19 in the non-schizophrenia group. The incidence of schizophrenia was 3.53 per 1,000 person-years for patients with epilepsy compared to 0.46 in the non-epilepsy group. Previous studies had suggested a prevalence of psychosis among epilepsy patients.

Two-way relationship

Researchers in this study also found that schizophrenia levels were slightly higher in men with epilepsy than in women with the disease. Dr I-Ching Chou, associate professor with the China Medical University in Taichung inTaiwan, said: "Our research results show a strong bidirectional relation between schizophrenia and epilepsy. "This relationship may be due to common pathogenesis in these diseases such as genetic susceptibility and environmental factors, but further investigation of the pathological mechanisms are needed." Dr Manny Bagary, consultant neuropsychiatrist in Birmingham, said it was a "very interesting" study.

"We have been aware that epilepsy sufferers seem to be have an increased risk of psychosis but this is the first convincing study to suggest that people with schizophrenia could also be at risk of developing epilepsy, suggesting a bidirectional relationship has been found between depression and epilepsy". "The association may be due to a common environmental factors such as traumatic brain injury or brain haemorrhage in utero. Alternatively, a genetic association may be relevant such as LGI1 or CNTNAP2 genes which have been associated with seizures and psychosis." "However, there may be some questions to ask about the reliability of the schizophrenia and epilepsy diagnoses in the study because it is a retrospective health register study and both conditions can be difficult to diagnose. "Nevertheless, this study will serve to guide further research into the relationship between epilepsy and psychosis."

BBC News - Schizophrenia and epilepsy have 'strong link'

how do they know the link is not the drugs they use ?
 

whitehall

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The "study" relies on data from the Taiwan health insurance data base. The last sentence throws the whole study out when it suggests that the original diagnosis is difficult. It means that the whole study might be based on faulty or erroneous diagnosis by health insurance technicians who have no experience in mental illness. It doesn't even state a conclusion. It says the study "might serve as a guide in further research". It's all B.S. probably thrown out as a filler by the BBC.
 

eots

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The "study" relies on data from the Taiwan health insurance data base. The last sentence throws the whole study out when it suggests that the original diagnosis is difficult. It means that the whole study might be based on faulty or erroneous diagnosis by health insurance technicians who have no experience in mental illness. It doesn't even state a conclusion. It says the study "might serve as a guide in further research". It's all B.S. probably thrown out as a filler by the BBC.

indeed
 

Sunshine

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This is news? I've practiced in psychiatry 21 of my 22 years as a nurse. Many, many schizophrenics have seizures. And most of the antipsychotic medications lower the seizure threshold making it increasingly possible for them to have seizures. In the case of a schizoprhenic, you can't stop the medicine just because he/she has a seizure. You have to treat the seizure as a comorbid illness.

Also, some schizophrenics have actual structural damage to the brain and not just a 'chemical imbalance.' Those with structural damage will tend to be more likely to have seizures.
 
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eots

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This is news? I've practiced in psychiatry 21 of my 22 years as a nurse. Many, many schizophrenics have seizures. And most of the antipsychotic medications lower the seizure threshold making it increasingly possible for them to have seizures. In the case of a schizoprhenic, you can't stop the medicine just because he/she has a seizure. You have to treat the seizure as a comorbid illness.

Also, some schizophrenics have actual structural damage to the brain and not just a 'chemical imbalance.' Those with structural damage will tend to be more likely to have seizures.

so Mrs psychiatric nurse...what test did you ever see done to confirm this chemical imbalance ? and how do you know structural damage seen in some schizophrenics is not the result of neroleptic drugs ?
 

Sunshine

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This is news? I've practiced in psychiatry 21 of my 22 years as a nurse. Many, many schizophrenics have seizures. And most of the antipsychotic medications lower the seizure threshold making it increasingly possible for them to have seizures. In the case of a schizoprhenic, you can't stop the medicine just because he/she has a seizure. You have to treat the seizure as a comorbid illness.

Also, some schizophrenics have actual structural damage to the brain and not just a 'chemical imbalance.' Those with structural damage will tend to be more likely to have seizures.

so Mrs psychiatric nurse...what test did you ever see done to confirm this chemical imbalance ? and how do you know structural damage seen in some schizophrenics is not the result of neroleptic drugs ?

Actually, there are no tests for chemical imbalance in the brain.* The determination is made by the clinical presentation of the patient. A diagnosis of schizophrenia is not something that is given quickly or without extensive observation.

I am not sure which 'neuroleptic drugs' you refer to. Perhaps you could be more clear in asking your question. Are you talking about antiphsychotics, antidepressants? What? Some drugs and drug combinations do cause psychosis. However, not all psychosis is schizophrenia.

By 'structural damage' I mean changes in the brain tissue itself. Some schizophrenics have enlarged ventricles. This occurs due to a process involving glutamate metabolism that takes place at puberty in which ALL of us lose half our brain cells. In most of the population, the process shuts off, but in the schizophrenic the process does not shut off and considerable brain mass is lost. A brain scan will show the extent of the damage. I also have had patients who became schizophrenic when they sustained brain injuries in MVAs or combat.

There are 5 types of hallucinations and they all indicate something different. Not always schizophrenia. Auditory and gustatory hallucinations occur in schizophrenia and other psychoses; visual hallucinations occur with actual organic damage to the brain. Could be a brain tumor, absces , injury, etc. (I have gotten 15 referrals from primary care providers in my career who thought a patient having visual hallucinations was psychotic. They all had brain lesions of some kind. And I referred them to a neurologist.) Olfactory hallucinations can indicate a tumor on the hypothalamus; tactile hallucinations generally indicate alcohol withdrawal. Hypnogogic hallucinations, auditory/visual, are really not of great concern and most people at one time or another have had them.

Schizophenia is not JUST hallucinations, though. There are types in which the person is delusional, or disorganized without the presence of hallucinations.

It is an interesting illness. And not an easy one to treat. I've been working with schizophrenics for many years.

*In criminal trials some defendants have had spinal taps to determine if they were low on serotonin and therefore depressed when they committed their crime. However, spinal taps are not standard clinical diagnostic procedure for, I hope, obvious reasons.
 
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eots

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[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIjOZq_AUeE]Truth About Antidepressants & Chemical Imbalance, Psychology - YouTube[/ame]
 

Truthmatters

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How I wish this country would treat mental illness like an illness instead of like a life choice
 

Sunshine

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eots

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This is news? I've practiced in psychiatry 21 of my 22 years as a nurse. Many, many schizophrenics have seizures. And most of the antipsychotic medications lower the seizure threshold making it increasingly possible for them to have seizures. In the case of a schizoprhenic, you can't stop the medicine just because he/she has a seizure. You have to treat the seizure as a comorbid illness.

Also, some schizophrenics have actual structural damage to the brain and not just a 'chemical imbalance.' Those with structural damage will tend to be more likely to have seizures.

so Mrs psychiatric nurse...what test did you ever see done to confirm this chemical imbalance ? and how do you know structural damage seen in some schizophrenics is not the result of neroleptic drugs ?

Actually, there are no tests for chemical imbalance in the brain.* The determination is made by the clinical presentation of the patient. A diagnosis of schizophrenia is not something that is given quickly or without extensive observation.

I am not sure which 'neuroleptic drugs' you refer to. Perhaps you could be more clear in asking your question. Are you talking about antiphsychotics, antidepressants? What? Some drugs and drug combinations do cause psychosis. However, not all psychosis is schizophrenia.

By 'structural damage' I mean changes in the brain tissue itself. Some schizophrenics have enlarged ventricles. This occurs due to a process involving glutamate metabolism that takes place at puberty in which ALL of us lose half our brain cells. In most of the population, the process shuts off, but in the schizophrenic the process does not shut off and considerable brain mass is lost. A brain scan will show the extent of the damage. I also have had patients who became schizophrenic when they sustained brain injuries in MVAs or combat.

There are 5 types of hallucinations and they all indicate something different. Not always schizophrenia. Auditory and gustatory hallucinations occur in schizophrenia and other psychoses; visual hallucinations occur with actual organic damage to the brain. Could be a brain tumor, absces , injury, etc. (I have gotten 15 referrals from primary care providers in my career who thought a patient having visual hallucinations was psychotic. They all had brain lesions of some kind. And I referred them to a neurologist.) Olfactory hallucinations can indicate a tumor on the hypothalamus; tactile hallucinations generally indicate alcohol withdrawal. Hypnogogic hallucinations, auditory/visual, are really not of great concern and most people at one time or another have had them.

Schizophenia is not JUST hallucinations, though. There are types in which the person is delusional, or disorganized without the presence of hallucinations.

It is an interesting illness. And not an easy one to treat. I've been working with schizophrenics for many years.

*In criminal trials some defendants have had spinal taps to determine if they were low on serotonin and therefore depressed when they committed their crime. However, spinal taps are not standard clinical diagnostic procedure for, I hope, obvious reasons.

so it is purely subjective observation...so what happens if someone in a state of mind described as psychotic is given no drugs /...will they remain in psychosis forever ? and could you give a link to your claim of spinal tap test being used in criminal trials
 

Sunshine

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How I wish this country would treat mental illness like an illness instead of like a life choice

I used to think the stigma of mental illness would be gone. However, I have decided it will not happen in my lifetime. Even in my profession, the stigma attaches. Mine is the most UNglamorous job in nursing. Over the spectrum of nursing, the pay is less for those of us who work in psychiatry. If we didn't love the job we wouldn't stay in it. I have NP friends in dermatology who make a great deal more than I do. LOL. But I can't complain. I do pretty well.

It never really occurred to me that the way the profession looks down upon us in psychiatry was the stigma of mental illness attaching to the providers, but this article in Current Psychiatry articulates it very well. Even in the medical profession, MDs don't consider psychiatrists to be doctors, just we in psych nursing aren't considered to be 'real' nurses.

Invisible tattoos: The stigmata of psychiatry — Current Psychiatry Online
 

eots

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How I wish this country would treat mental illness like an illness instead of like a life choice

I used to think the stigma of mental illness would be gone. However, I have decided it will not happen in my lifetime. Even in my profession, the stigma attaches. Mine is the most UNglamorous job in nursing. Over the spectrum of nursing, the pay is less for those of us who work in psychiatry. If we didn't love the job we wouldn't stay in it. I have NP friends in dermatology who make a great deal more than I do. LOL. But I can't complain. I do pretty well.

It never really occurred to me that the way the profession looks down upon us in psychiatry was the stigma of mental illness attaching to the providers, but this article in Current Psychiatry articulates it very well. Even in the medical profession, MDs don't consider psychiatrists to be doctors, just we in psych nursing aren't considered to be 'real' nurses.

Invisible tattoos: The stigmata of psychiatry — Current Psychiatry Online

that could be because psychiatry is a pseudo -science funded by pharma companies
 

Sunshine

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so Mrs psychiatric nurse...what test did you ever see done to confirm this chemical imbalance ? and how do you know structural damage seen in some schizophrenics is not the result of neroleptic drugs ?

Actually, there are no tests for chemical imbalance in the brain.* The determination is made by the clinical presentation of the patient. A diagnosis of schizophrenia is not something that is given quickly or without extensive observation.

I am not sure which 'neuroleptic drugs' you refer to. Perhaps you could be more clear in asking your question. Are you talking about antiphsychotics, antidepressants? What? Some drugs and drug combinations do cause psychosis. However, not all psychosis is schizophrenia.

By 'structural damage' I mean changes in the brain tissue itself. Some schizophrenics have enlarged ventricles. This occurs due to a process involving glutamate metabolism that takes place at puberty in which ALL of us lose half our brain cells. In most of the population, the process shuts off, but in the schizophrenic the process does not shut off and considerable brain mass is lost. A brain scan will show the extent of the damage. I also have had patients who became schizophrenic when they sustained brain injuries in MVAs or combat.

There are 5 types of hallucinations and they all indicate something different. Not always schizophrenia. Auditory and gustatory hallucinations occur in schizophrenia and other psychoses; visual hallucinations occur with actual organic damage to the brain. Could be a brain tumor, absces , injury, etc. (I have gotten 15 referrals from primary care providers in my career who thought a patient having visual hallucinations was psychotic. They all had brain lesions of some kind. And I referred them to a neurologist.) Olfactory hallucinations can indicate a tumor on the hypothalamus; tactile hallucinations generally indicate alcohol withdrawal. Hypnogogic hallucinations, auditory/visual, are really not of great concern and most people at one time or another have had them.

Schizophenia is not JUST hallucinations, though. There are types in which the person is delusional, or disorganized without the presence of hallucinations.

It is an interesting illness. And not an easy one to treat. I've been working with schizophrenics for many years.

*In criminal trials some defendants have had spinal taps to determine if they were low on serotonin and therefore depressed when they committed their crime. However, spinal taps are not standard clinical diagnostic procedure for, I hope, obvious reasons.

so it is purely subjective observation...so what happens if someone in a state of mind described as psychotic is given no drugs /...will they remain in psychosis forever ? and could you give a link to your claim of spinal tap test being used in criminal trials

Crime Causation: Biological Theories - Serotonin - Violent, Csf, Levels, Impulsive, Criminal, and Hiaa - JRank Articles

Clinical observation of a patient is not 'subjective' data. Clinical observation is objective data. Subjective data is what the patient tells us. If you want to know what would happen if a psychotic person were to be given no medications, you should look backward in time to how the problem was handled in the asylums before the advent of Thorazine in the 50s which I belive was the first antipsychotic drug. There is considerable history there which should answer your question. I know of no clinician who would deliberately allow a person to remain psychotic just to see what would happen. I also know of no clinician who would not allow a person on antipsychotic meds to take a 'drug holiday' to see if he/she can function without it. I have done that many times.

One caveat, though, there is a BIG difference in delirium and psychosis. A person suffering from delirium will return to his/her normal mental status once the cause is removed. Many clinicians miss this and treat inapropriately.

Here is a link you should find informative:

http://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/418882_6

Sorry, this link won't let you in. Just do a search Historical Roots of Schizophrenia and you should get it in its entirity. If you still can't get it, sign up. Medscape is free.
 
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Truthmatters

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How I wish this country would treat mental illness like an illness instead of like a life choice

I used to think the stigma of mental illness would be gone. However, I have decided it will not happen in my lifetime. Even in my profession, the stigma attaches. Mine is the most UNglamorous job in nursing. Over the spectrum of nursing, the pay is less for those of us who work in psychiatry. If we didn't love the job we wouldn't stay in it. I have NP friends in dermatology who make a great deal more than I do. LOL. But I can't complain. I do pretty well.

It never really occurred to me that the way the profession looks down upon us in psychiatry was the stigma of mental illness attaching to the providers, but this article in Current Psychiatry articulates it very well. Even in the medical profession, MDs don't consider psychiatrists to be doctors, just we in psych nursing aren't considered to be 'real' nurses.

Invisible tattoos: The stigmata of psychiatry — Current Psychiatry Online


Too many Americans want it swept under the rug instead of dealt with.

Much of it has to do with the cost of treatment for mental illness.
 

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