Guest host Tyrel Ventura speaks with Dick Russell, author of My Mysterious Son about his struggles in raising a son with schizophrenia and the surprising success he found in shamanism.
Tag Archives | schizophrenia
Could there be an underlying biological cause for many mental illnesses?
Diagnoses as different as depression, addictions and schizophrenia are all linked to a similar pattern of gray-matter loss in the brain, a new study finds.
The results hint at an underlying biological cause for these mental illnesses.
Dr Thomas Insel, commenting on the study, said:
“The idea that these disorders share some common brain architecture and that some functions could be abnormal across so many of them is intriguing,”
The research, published in JAMA Psychiatry, pooled data from 193 separate studies, which included brain imaging from 7,381 patients (Goodkind et al., 2015).
Patients were experiencing all sorts of different mental illnesses, including depression, schizophrenia, OCD and some anxiety disorders.
Despite this, the researchers identified three structures in the brain which had shrunk across all the different diagnoses.
Despite investment in research and treatment, the outcomes of patients diagnosed with the most severe psychiatric disorders have not improved since the Victorian period. Where are the flaws in our understanding? Mental health treatment needs a radical overhaul to bring it into the 21st century – but what needs to change?
… get up to speed with what’s fact and what’s fiction about schizophrenia with Professor and Clinical Psychologist Richard Bentall as he debunk the common myths in this free online course: Nine Myths About Schizophrenia.
via Medical News Today:
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that around 60 million people in the US may be infected with T. gondii. Infection most commonly occurs through eating undercooked, contaminated meat, drinking contaminated water and coming into contact with cat feces that contain T. gondii.
Most people with T. gondii infection are unaware they have it; people with healthy immune systems are usually able to stop the parasite causing illness. But for those with weaker immune systems, such as older people, pregnant women and those with immune system disorders, the parasite can cause toxoplasmosis.
Toxoplasmosis a disease characterized by flu-like symptoms, including swollen lymph glands and muscle aches and pains.
Okay, so you’re probably getting bored with hearing about my book (The Galactic Dialogue: Occult Initiations, out now!) at this point, so this will be the second to last in my five part series (symbolizing the five sides of the pentagram) of posts on it. Of course last week if you were watching you heard me rant about my “Summoning my Holy Guardian Angel/Alien Contact” experience, but that is only one of many ultra-strange tales contained in the living book’s pages. This might be the strangest. It’s funny but when critics tell me that magick is crazy, I say “exactly.” When they say that it’s just my imagination, I say “precisely the point.” Materialist science still hasn’t explained what the hell is going on with things like schizophrenia. (Why do nearly all schizophrenics see daemons?) Furthermore, the boundaries of the human imagination have yet to be explored or defined.
But when critics say that it’s all in my head I have to resoundingly say, well, no.… Read the rest
People who suffer from schizophrenic symptoms are finding new ways of coping. Here is one such person who finds that hallucinations of angry voices can be a way to notice problems in their life.
The research of Dr. T. M. Luhrmann has found that Americans often suffer from distressing voices related to war and conflict.
Does culture make a difference to schizophrenic symptoms?
Organizations like Hearing Voices Network are experimenting with new ways of living with schizophrenic symptoms as opposed to trying to exorcise them away.
Dr. Arthur Hastings describes the use of the psychomanteum for bereavement. This use of a mirror angled in such a way that the user doesn’t see their own reflection can reconcile people to their lost loved ones and meditate on concepts of togetherness.
Dr. Jeffrey J. Kripal argues that there is a kinship between these experiences and writing itself:
Are we in a renaissance that is radically altering our perception of imagination in relation to objective truths?… Read the rest
via Science Daily:
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Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder both appear to be associated with dendritic spine loss in the brain, suggesting the two distinct disorders may share common pathophysiological features, write author Glenn T. Konopaske, M.D., and colleagues at McLean Hospital, Belmont, Mass., and Harvard Medical School, Boston.
The dendritic spines play a role in a variety of brain functions. Previous studies have observed spine loss in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortices (DLPFCs) from individuals with schizophrenia (SZ). To determine whether spine pathology happens in individuals with a disorder distinct from SZ, the authors included patients with bipolar (BP) disorder in their study. SZ and BP differ clinically but they share many features.
The authors analyzed postmortem human brain tissue from 14 individuals with SZ, nine individuals with BP and 19 unaffected control group individuals.
Average spine density was reduced in individuals with BP (by 10.5 percent) and in individuals with SZ (by 6.5 percent) compared with control patients, although the reduction in individuals with SZ just missed significance.
Could this discovery lead to the end of “treating” mental illness through the endless prescribing of psychiatric drugs?
… Read the rest
Dysfunction in dopamine signaling profoundly changes the activity level of about 2,000 genes in the brain’s prefrontal cortex and may be an underlying cause of certain complex neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, according to UC Irvine scientists.
This epigenetic alteration of gene activity in brain cells that receive this neurotransmitter showed for the first time that dopamine deficiencies can affect a variety of behavioral and physiological functions regulated in the prefrontal cortex.
The study, led by Emiliana Borrelli, a UCI professor of microbiology & molecular genetics, appears online in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.
“Our work presents new leads to understanding neuropsychiatric disorders,” Borrelli said. “Genes previously linked to schizophrenia seem to be dependent on the controlled release of dopamine at specific locations in the brain.
Demonic possession? Sure. That won’t play into the delusions of schizophrenics…
… Read the rest
IS SCHIZOPHRENIA CAUSED by demons? A Turkish researcher seems to think so, and his article on the topic was just published in the Journal of Religion and Health, a scientific journal owned by Springer, a German-based publishing company.
The first two-thirds of M. Kemal Irmak’s paper, “Schizophrenia or Possession?”, read normally enough. You learn about the devastating symptoms of schizophrenia, current treatment approaches, and the nature of the delusions and hallucinations that schizophrenics experience. And then you arrive at this little doozy:
“One approach to this hallucination problem is to consider the possibility of a demonic world.”
The abrupt transition from established science to outlandish woo is positively comical. And once the quackery starts, it doesn’t stop. You’re first treated to a background on all things demonic:
In our region, demons are believed to be intelligent and unseen creatures that occupy a parallel world to that of mankind.
A recent study proposes that we may be able to use current technology to identify schizophrenics without spending the copious resources for a qualified neuropsychologist to diagnose an individual case. What implications can this have for pilot licensing, holding government office, police recruiting, and generally the overall stigma associated with individuals who are functioning and non-functioning clinical schizophrenics?
A group of scientists from Scotland, Germany, and the USA recruited schizophrenic patients from mental hospitals in Munich, Germany and Aberdeen, Scotland. The researchers confirmed schizophrenia by diagnostic procedures in the DSM-IV as well as case history. Control group participants were recruited from the area surrounding University of Aberdeen, excluding people with a history of alcohol abuse/dependence, major head trauma involving loss of consciousness for more than 5 minutes, epilepsy or other neurological dysfunction, and ﬁrst-degree family history of psychosis.
Using infrared eye-tracking technology via the EyeLink I and a 19” video screen, the study tested visual patterns in smooth pursuit of a moving object for 20 seconds, fixation stability on the same stationary object, and free-viewing of photographs including:
“Luminance-balanced natural and man made environments showing information at different spatial scales; everyday objects and food in sparse and cluttered scenes; expressive, neutral, and occluded faces; animals; and unfamiliar computer-generated images (fractal patterns, gray-scale ‘pink noise.'”
The conclusion brought by the research is that schizophrenic individuals clearly lack an ability to perform visual tests the same as control individuals. Diagnosed schizophrenics cannot accurately pursue an object with a smooth speed and path or concentrate with normal patterns when steadily gazing at the photographs presented.… Read the rest