Saturday, January 31, 2009

Saying goodbye to a therapist



Posted January 29th on the Mental Nurse weblog:
(Guest post from Torah)

Hi, I'm a long time lurker on this site. I really enjoy being able to see mental health issues from lots of different points of view. I am in therapy for CPTSD and I have had to say goodbye to my mental health case manager (who is an awesome nurse) when she changed roles. Over our time together she became my friend, my sister, my mother, my safe place, my information centre, my rock and it was all done in a way that never violated any boundaries, duty of care, job description. I had no idea how I would go without her and I really didn't want her to go. I had a couple of sessions where I told her this, where I cried and said it wasn't fair, where I asked questions like “If I wasn't coping so well, would you be allowed to go?”. She was always open and honest in her answers back to me, she told I would be o.k, she soothed me for a while and told me to stop dwelling on things I couldn't change. And then our time was up and now I have another very lovely nurse as my case manager. My old case manager called me today, in a professional role, just to check in on me. And you know what……I was completely fine. I didn't cry or demand her back. Everything was good. Anyway, what I wanted to say is, if you ever have to leave a mental health worker, for what ever reason, just allow your self to be human and grieve the loss. We are all human before we are mental health patients, we are allowed to 'like' or 'dislike' our treating team, and we are allowed to be sad or happy when that's over. It doesn't mean we have any 'pathology' or 'disorders', it just means we are human. Torah.
Graphic courtesy of Mental Nurse.

Select SZ Magazine articles are free to read online



From the SZ Magazine website:
Over the years, SZ Magazine has examined a number of important and relevant issues, including stigma, therapy alternatives, medication, legislation and career counseling. Our library of previous issues includes access to past cover stories [as well as select other articles], dating back to May/June 2001.
To view the free online SZ Magazine stories and articles, click here (use the double arrow on the page to move between publication years, and click on the magazine cover image to get access to the free online stories and articles).

Friday, January 30, 2009

Your Recovery Jouney: Meaning, Management, and Medication


Your Recovery Journey is based on the experiences of people who have a mental illness and who know there is hope, who are well and doing the things they want in their lives.

The program offers five free interactive weekly sessions, each ninety minutes long, and all facilitated by people in recovery who can give you valuable information that will help you on your recovery journey. You'll also learn to find peer support and build new life skills.

The program is designed for any person with a mental illness who would like to find support and explore different aspects of recovery. Using a variety of formats, including presentation, interactive exercises, and structured activities, the program guides participants their goals of establishing and maintaining wellness.

Who are the leaders?

The program is designed to be facilitated or co-facilitated by people who themselves have experience with mental illness and have also experienced recovery in their own lives. This 'hope in action' approach is a fundamental principle of the program.

What is covered?

This program aims to increase your ability to meet your personal recovery goals by:
  • exploring the many aspects of recovery
  • sharing knowledge and tools that will that will help you take responsibility for your wellness and stability
  • introducing a variety of self-help techniques so you can manage and reduce symptoms
  • learning to use medication effectively
  • planning your recovery journey
  • finding effective ways to reach out for and use the support of family members, friends, and service providers
When is it offered?

The Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (SSNS) will offer Your Recovery Journey in the Halifax Regional Municipality during the spring of 2009.

If you are interested in participating, please contact the SSNS at (902) 465-2601 or 1-800-4652601 (toll-free in Nova Scotia), or sent an email to ssns@ns.sympatico.ca.

Materials

To view the Your Recovery Journey brochure, click here (PDF). To examine the Your Recovery Journey Participant Workbook, click here (PDF).

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Facing Psychosis Video



Posted by ReachOut on January 28th:
This short video, made by and for youth and persons with psychosis, gives an excellent summary of what to watch out for in this brain illness.



Also see:

Scientists Can Predict Psychotic Illness in up to 80 Percent of High-Risk Youth

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Mentally ill family member? You don’t have to feel alone


For the first in a five-part series on life with a mentally ill family member, written by Fortune McLemore (pictured), click here.

Also see:

Strengthening Families Together

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A four-part series on young people with mental illness ...

... written by John Gillis and published in the Chronicle Herald.




Part One
‘It’s not him, it’s the illness’
Mom stands by son who choked her; she hopes his court-ordered stay at forensic hospital will finally help him

Part Two
Mom pleads for timely help

Part Three
‘It seemed so real’
Imaginery noises led to bipolar disorder diagnosis for bright young teenage girl

Part Four
Treat mental health problems early, avoid trouble later
The last in a four-part series on young people and mental illness

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Early detection of psychosis – Establishing a service for persons at risk

An abstract published in the January 2009 edition of European Psychiatry:
By Frauke Schultze-Lutter, Stephan Ruhrmann, and Joachim Klosterkötter [pictured]

University of Cologne, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Early Recognition and Intervention Centre for Mental Crises (FETZ), 50924 Cologne, Germany

Purpose

The establishment phase of an early detection centre for prodromal psychosis is introduced and characterised, along with its detaining and promoting factors within a universal multi-payer health care system.

Method

Across the first six years (1998–2003), users' characteristics are compared between different diagnostic groups and to the local population statistics; and, for an exemplary 12-months period (3-1-2002 to 2-28-2003), the characteristics of telephone contacts with the service are studied.

Results

Rising steadily in number across the first three years, 872 persons, predominately of German citizenship and higher education, consulted the service until 2003, 326 with first-episode psychosis and 144 not fulfilling criteria for a current or beginning psychosis. Of the 402 putatively prodromal patients, 94% reported predictive basic symptoms, 68.9% attenuated and 20.6% transient psychotic symptoms. Most contacts by persons meeting any prodromal criterion were initiated by mental health professionals (psychiatrists or psychologists) and counselling services.

Conclusion

Supported by public awareness campaigns, an early detection service is well received by its users and private practitioners as reflected by the large proportion of referrals from the latter. However, persons of non-German background as well as of lower education were underrepresented indicating that these sub-groups should be approached by tailored programmes.

Keywords: Psychosis; Early detection; Prodrome; Outpatient health services; Program evaluation
To download the entire article, click here (PDF).

Posting of this abstract is for the purposes of research into early psychosis.

Also see:

Early Detection Fact Sheet
(PDF)

Nova Scotia Early Psychosis Program

Photograph of Joachim Klosterkötter courtesy of the University of Cologne.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Suffers every day

A letter to the editor published in today's edition of The Chronicle Herald:
I have followed with great interest the story of Glen Race, who will be sentenced with life in prison for the murder of Darcy Manor of New York State. It most intrigued me that Jane Manor was able to make a statement to Mr. Race, hoping that he will "suffer just half the pain" that Mr. Manor’s family and friends had suffered.

I know how much people with schizophrenia suffer. My husband’s brother, Nigel, suffered from this mental illness for the better part of 25 years. He refused medication and treatment for most of his time with this illness, as he felt it "deadened" him. Even when he was ordered to take the medications, it was too easy for him to run.

I saw first-hand the tortured looks on Nigel’s face in times when he could somewhat manage his symptoms, and I had to fight with anger when he forced entry into our home and had to be forcibly removed by police at gun point.

In the end, Nigel took his own life, only a few months before Mr. Race murdered Darcy Manor. I realize Mr. Race’s crime is a punishable offence and he needs to serve his time, but I hope we can all spare one moment of compassion for Mr. Race, and all people afflicted with mental illness. Mrs. Manor need not hope that Mr. Race will "suffer just half the pain" her family suffers. I am sure Mr. Race suffers every day, from having to cope with this most terrible mental illness.

Mental illness needs a higher profile in our community; we need to spend more on this often marginalized sector of the health care population.

Leslie Hill, Dartmouth

Also see:

'Unspeakable sorrow' haunts murder suspect's family

Friday, January 23, 2009

MIT discovers a brain process involved in schizophrenia



An article posted January 22nd on masshightech.com:
Some researchers at MIT believe that schizophrenia may be triggered by over-stimulating the brain system that handles self-reflection processes.

This past week, researchers at the MIT McGovern Institute for Brain Research made public their findings. Historically, they claimed, schizophrenia — characterized as a series of disturbed thoughts, perceptions and emotions — is believed to be caused by disconnections among the individual brain regions that control the various cognitive and other processes.

However, they found that schizophrenia is also associated with an excess of communication between the so-called default brain regions. These default regions handle self-reflection processes and activate when a person is either contemplating himself or herself or nothing in particular. This default network includes the medial prefrontal cortex and the posterior cingulate cortex — brain portions associated with self-reflection and autobiographical memory recall processes.

People usually suppress the brain default system when performing challenging tasks, stated John Gabrieli, an MIT professor and one of the study’s authors. The researchers found that patients with schizophrenia don’t have the typical brain default suppression capabilities, however. Ultimately, this realization may help to explain schizophrenia’s cognitive and psychological symptoms. The hyperactive default system may account for schizophrenic hallucinations and paranoia. For instance, point out the researchers, if a brain region, whose activity normally handles the self-focus process, is active while the patient is listening to a voice on television, the patient may perceive erroneously the voice is directed at them specifically.

To conduct its study, the team selected three carefully matched groups of 13 subjects each: schizophrenia patients; non-psychotic first-degree relatives of patients; and healthy controls. The subjects were scanned by functional magnetic resonance imaging during rest or while performing easy or hard memory tasks.

Gabrieli explained that future research may lead to ways of predicting or monitoring individual patients’ response to treatments for schizophrenia, which afflicts about one percent of the population.

Also see:

Altered brain activity in schizophrenia may cause exaggerated focus on self: MIT study links schizophrenia to key 'default mode' brain system

Hyperactivity and hyperconnectivity of the default network in schizophrenia and in first-degree relatives of persons with schizophrenia

Graphic courtesy Susan Whitfield-Gabrieli, McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Families 'fail' on schizophrenia


An article posted today by BBC News:
People with schizophrenia are more likely to experience discrimination by those closest to them than by employers or officials, a global survey suggests.

Nearly half of the 730 respondents to the King's College, London, study reported negative treatment by relatives and friends after diagnosis.

About a third said they had encountered problems when seeking or keeping a job.

Writing in the Lancet, the authors said they saw a remarkable consistency in those surveyed in 27 countries.
To read the entire article, click here.

Also see:

Global pattern of experienced and anticipated discrimination against people with schizophrenia: a cross-sectional survey

People With Schizophrenia Say Bias Is Part of Their Lives

Strengthening Families Together

Monday, January 19, 2009

Princess Anne hands charity a royal reason to be cheerful

Posted on January 19th by NEWS.scotsman.com:
HER royal engagements will take her to the City Chambers and one of the city's premier cathedrals.

But to the astonishment of workers, a senior member of the Royal Family is also set to pay a visit to a small city charity who invited her on a whim of hope rather than expectation.

As part of an official trip this week, Princess Anne will unveil the new offices of a charity helping people with schizophrenia and their families on Wednesday.
To read the entire article, click here.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

APA Helps Psychiatrists Improve Patient Safety


From the January 16th edition of Psychiatric News:
By Aaron Levin

A new APA [American Psychiatric Association] publication helps psychiatrists reduce errors and keep patients safer.

Patient safety rose in prominence in American medical thinking with the publication a decade ago of "To Err Is Human," the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) report estimating that tens of thousands of people die every year in American hospitals due to preventable medical errors.

Now APA has published a 33-page handbook that addresses ways to develop and integrate systems to reduce or prevent six critical events: suicide, aggression, falls, elopement, medical comorbidities, and drug or medication errors. Each chapter provides examples of unsafe care along with discussions of what went wrong and how to prevent mistakes.
To read the entire article, click here.

Click on the image to enlarge it.

To download SAFE MD, the 33-page handbook, click here (PDF).
SAFE MD: Practical Applications and Approaches to Safe Psychiatric Practice

Resource document, approved by the Joint Reference Committee in June 2008, that emphasizes applications and approaches to safe psychiatric practice in six categories: Suicide; Aggression; Falls; Elopement; Medical comorbidity; and Drug/medication errors.

Cross Country Checkup ... mental illness ... recorded January 11th


From CBC.ca:
Rex Murphy's introduction to the January 11, 2009, program:

"Our question today: "Are governments across Canada doing enough for the mentally ill?"

Today we want to talk about the state of mental illness in Canada.

Almost three years ago we did a similar program after the Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology released a report three years in the making called "Out of the Shadows at Last." It was an in-depth look at what it was like to be mentally ill in Canada and what kind of support could be expected. It was not an optimistic picture. The chair of that Senate committee and the co-author of the report was Michael Kirby. One of the recommendations was to set up a mental health commission to, among other things, act as a co-ordinating body in Canada's approach to mental illness.

In 2007 the federal government created the Commission and named Michael Kirby the chair. It has been almost two years since the Commission was created and this week we want to take a look at how things are going in the battle against mental illness.

Those who deal with mental illness are very familiar with the 'trap' this illness falls in. It is the one illness that still has something of a 'taboo' about it. People are 'shy' when talking about mental illness. It is also among the most intractable problems a person, family, or society can face. It is twinned with other more immediately visible problems. How much of homelessness, for example, is wound up - tied to - persons suffering mental disability.

We'd like to have your thoughts today on this sometimes difficult subject. What can be done to advance the treatment of mental illness? What are the difficulties faced by people who have mental illness - or have to deal with or care for someone in their family with that problem.

The Honourable Michael Kirby has joined us from a studio in Florida ...and he'll be staying with us throughout the program.

We want to hear from Canadians across the country ....how do you think Canada is doing in its handling of people with mental illness? Is there enough support ...for individuals and for families? Is there still a tendency to hide the problem? Are there too many people falling through the cracks in the system? How can the system be made better? If there are problems could they be solved by more money ...or is it a problem of organization?

Our question today: "Are governments across Canada doing enough for mental illness?"
To download the entire broadcast, click here (mp3).

Photograph of Rex Murphy courtesy of CBC.ca.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Common genetic determinants of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in Swedish families: a population-based study


The summary of an article published in the January 17th edition of The Lancet:
By Paul Lichtenstein (a), Benjamin H. Yip (a), Camilla Björk (a), Yudi Pawitan (a), Tyrone D. Cannon (d), Patrick F. Sullivan (a,c), and Christina M. Hultman.

Background


Whether schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are the clinical outcomes of discrete or shared causative processes is much debated in psychiatry. We aimed to assess genetic and environmental contributions to liability for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and their comorbidity.

Methods

We linked the multi-generation register, which contains information about all children and their parents in Sweden, and the hospital discharge register, which includes all public psychiatric inpatient admissions in Sweden. We identified 9,009,202 unique individuals in more than 2 million nuclear families between 1973 and 2004. Risks for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and their comorbidity were assessed for biological and adoptive parents, offspring, full-siblings and half-siblings of probands with one of the diseases. We used a multivariate generalised linear mixed model for analysis of genetic and environmental contributions to liability for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and the comorbidity.

Findings

First-degree relatives of probands with either schizophrenia (n=35,985) or bipolar disorder (n=40,487) were at increased risk of these disorders. Half-siblings had a significantly increased risk (schizophrenia: relative risk [RR] 3·6, 95% CI 2·3—5·5 for maternal half-siblings, and 2·7, 1·9—3·8 for paternal half-siblings; bipolar disorder: 4·5, 2·7—7·4 for maternal half-siblings, and 2·4, 1·4—4·1 for paternal half-siblings), but substantially lower than that of the full-siblings (schizophrenia: 9·0, 8·5—11·6; bipolar disorder: 7·9, 7·1—8·8). When relatives of probands with bipolar disorder were analysed, increased risks for schizophrenia existed for all relationships, including adopted children to biological parents with bipolar disorder. Heritability for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder was 64% and 59%, respectively. Shared environmental effects were small but substantial (schizophrenia: 4·5%, 4·4%—7·4%; bipolar disorder: 3·4%, 2·3%—6·2%) for both disorders. The comorbidity between disorders was mainly (63%) due to additive genetic effects common to both disorders.

Interpretation

Similar to molecular genetic studies, we showed evidence that schizophrenia and bipolar disorder partly share a common genetic cause. These results challenge the current nosological dichotomy between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and are consistent with a reappraisal of these disorders as distinct diagnostic entities.

Funding

Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research, and the Swedish Research Council.

Footnotes

(a) Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

(b) Department of Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Ulleråker, Uppsala University, Sweden

(c) Department of Genetics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

(d) Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Correspondence to: Prof. Paul Lichtenstein, Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Box 281, 17177 Stockholm, Sweden

Posting of this summary on this weblog is for the purposes of research into schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Photograph of Prof. Paul Lichtenstein courtesy of Karolinska Institutet.

Also see:

The Observed Psychosocial & Psychopharmacological Commonalities Between Schizophrenia & Bipolar Disorder Seem More Than Just A Coincidence: Can We Now Add A Common Genetic Basis?

Large Family Study Links Genetics of Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder

Common Causes Of Schizophrenia And Bipolar Disorder

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Clozaril® (clozapine)


For Nova Scotia Residents Only

To the very best of my knowledge and effective today, many individuals currently taking Clozaril® (clozapine) produced by Novartis Canada Inc. will be switched to a generic version of Clozaril® called Gen-Clozapine produced by Genpharm. Again, to the very best of my knowledge, this only applies to all individuals receiving income assistance form the Nova Scotia Department of Community Services or enrolled in the Nova Scotia Family Pharmacare Program and currently taking Clozaril®. Blood monitoring will now be conducted by a program called GenCAN instead of Novartis’ CSAN® program. A patient’s prior blood work information will be transferred, and from what I understand without the individual’s permission, from the CSAN® program (Novartis) to the GenCAN program (Genpharm).

If you have any questions or concerns about the above, please feel free to contact the Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia.

Also see:

Evaluation of an interchangeability switch in patients treated with clozapine: A retrospective review.

Generic clozapine: a cost-saving alternative to brand name clozapine?

Branded versus generic clozapine: bioavailability comparison and interchangeability issues.

Clinical equivalence of generic and brand-name drugs used in cardiovascular disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis.


Clozaril® graphic courtesy of Novartis.

Schizophrenia 101

From MySanAntonio.com:

This is a primer for parents, educators, police officers, coaches, band parents and other “influencers” who really do need to have a very basic knowledge of schizophrenia and mental illness. This is part one of five columns on schizophrenia — and these are just the basics.

All columns by Dr. María Félix-Ortiz (pictured).

Column #1
Myths linked to schizophrenia lead to discrimination, abuse (December 17th)

Column #2
In the active phase of schizophrenia, patient obviously ill (December 24th)

Column #3
Hospitalization figure in schizophrenia myths (December 30th)

Column #4
Various factors determine treatment plans for schizophrenia (January 6th)

Column #5
Don't know of anyone with schizophrenia? Think again (January 14th)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Lunenburg County Chapter Christmas Party

Two photographs from the Lunenburg County Chapter of the Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia's 2008 Christmas Party!

Santa (Linda Dagley, right) and her elf (Kaye Joudrey)


Kenny Joudrey (right) and Rachael Robar try to figure out Kenny's gift from Santa - Doesn't look like a lump of coal!

Click on the images to enlarge them. Photographs by Jan House.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Canadian Human Rights Commission’s Policy and Procedures on the Accommodation of Mental Illness



From the Canadian Human Rights Commission:
October 2008

The Canadian Mental Health Association has urged employers to do more to address mental health issues in the workplace.

At the Canadian Human Rights Commission, we are committed to achieving the highest standards of human rights practice within our own workplace, and to act as both catalyst and leader in areas within our specific mandate. In support of this, we recently created an internal Policy and Procedural guideline on the Accommodation of Mental Illness.

Because we recognize that many other organizations face the same challenges, we are happy to share it with any organization interested in this subject matter.

The policy below outlines the accommodation process and provides guidance to help managers and supervisors take the initiative to ensure employees with a mental illness are offered appropriate accommodation when necessary.

This policy, plus education initiatives, and counselling and support, will contribute to the Commission's continuous engagement in creating a work environment that supports the health and well-being of all employees.

For any questions about the policy, please contact us by email at policy-politiques@chrc-ccdp.ca.
To download the policy, click here (PDF).

Monday, January 5, 2009

A Letter of Invitation

to make a donation, to become a member, or to renew your membership with the Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (SSNS)


The SSNS Needs Your Support!



On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (SSNS), the Dr. Paul Janssen Chair in Psychotic Disorders at Dalhousie University and I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to become a member of the SSNS, or, if you have been a member in the past, to thank you for supporting the important work the SSNS has performed over the years. The SSNS depends on the membership and financial support of people like you to accomplish our mission of improving the quality of life for those affected by schizophrenia and psychosis through education, support programs, public policy, and research.

Please see the list of accomplishments of the SSNS over the past two years by clicking here.

We know we have much more work to do, including:
  • advocacy for those living with schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders;
  • promotion of better living conditions for these individuals;
  • improving access to dental care and medical treatment (including early detection of psychosis);
  • better support for families;
  • further development of our provincial network of Chapters.
One way you can be of much needed and immediate assistance is to make a donation. Every donor of $15 or more is automatically entitled to be a member of the SSNS. When approaching the Nova Scotia Government and other decision makers, we are empowered by our grassroots membership.

Please take a moment to complete the SSNS Membership Form now and mail it to us along with a cheque for at least $15.00. Memberships can also be renewed over the telephone, using Visa or MasterCard, by calling (902) 465-2601 or 1-800-465-2601 (toll-free in Nova Scotia).

In order to sustain our work towards improving the quality of life for those affected by schizophrenia and psychosis, we need your continued financial support.

Yours sincerely,

Stephen W. Ayer, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia








Philip Tibbo, MD, FRCPC
Medical Advisor to the SSNS
Dr. Paul Janssen Chair in Psychotic Disorders
Department of Psychiatry, Dalhousie University









Sunday, January 4, 2009

More on Canadian System

A letter to the editor published in the January 2nd edition of Psychiatric News:
By Nancy Porter-Steele, Ph.D.
Halifax, Nova Scotia

I write from two perspectives: as a colleague and the wife of a psychiatrist, Curtis Steele, M.D., formerly living and working in the United States and now in Canada; and as a member of an extended family living mostly in the United States.

In the November 7, 2008, issue, Dr. Steven Sharfstein accurately presented the situation for psychiatrists in Canada. Curtis and I practiced in the United States for several decades before moving to Canada. For our professional situation, the move has been excellent. In the United States, we had to have a full-time, well-trained, highly competent employee whose time was almost entirely spent collecting our fees from insurance companies. In Canada, as Dr. Sharfstein said, billing for the psychiatric practice takes about 10 minutes a week and requires no office staff—which means less office space, less equipment, and so on, saving money for everyone including the provincial health insurance fund.

Furthermore, provincial insurance pays enough for group therapy that Curtis can afford to pay me to serve as cotherapist with him. We are able to see in our groups not only fully employed people, but also people whose incomes are very tiny, people who are between jobs, people whose jobs carry no insurance benefits—many people we would never have been able to see in the United States.

As I am not a medical doctor, the services that I provide on my own are not covered by provincial health insurance; therefore, for that part of my practice, I continue to see only people who can pay out of pocket or who have private insurance with one of the companies that recognize my registrations. (They pay as they go; no office staff for me either.)

As for our family members: there are at least two of our relatives living in the United States who have suffered permanent impairment as a result of being unable to afford the medical care they needed when they needed it. This kind of tragedy seems to be underrecognized.

Photograph of Nancy Porter-Steele courtesy of CFQ Healing Qigong Society of Atlantic Canada.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Eric Kandel on the Year in Neuroscience


An article posted by The Dana Foundation on December 29th:
What were the most significant neuroscience discoveries of 2008? Eric Kandel, a professor of biochemistry and biophysics at Columbia University, weighed in on the topic at an event at the Dana Center in Washington, D.C., in November. Kandel was a co-recipient of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work on the physiological basis of memory. Here is an edited transcript of his remarks during a reception for members and guests of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives.
To read the entire article, click here.

I thank David Whitehorn for bringing this article to my attention.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Beyond the critical period: longitudinal study of 8-year outcome in first-episode non-affective psychosis


An abstract published in the January 1st edition of the British Journal of Psychiatry by Crumlish et al.:
Background

The critical period hypothesis proposes that deterioration occurs aggressively during the early years of psychosis, with relative stability subsequently. Thus, interventions that shorten the duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) and arrest early deterioration may have long-term benefits.

Aims

To test the critical period hypothesis by determining whether outcome in non-affective psychosis stabilises beyond the critical period and whether DUP correlates with 8-year outcome; to determine whether duration of untreated illness (DUI) has any independent effect on outcome.

Method

We recruited 118 people consecutively referred with first-episode psychosis to a prospective, naturalistic cohort study.

Results

Negative and disorganised symptoms improved between 4 and 8 years. Duration of untreated psychosis predicted remission, positive symptoms and social functioning at 8 years. Continuing functional recovery between 4 and 8 years was predicted by DUI.

Conclusions

These results provide qualified support for the critical period hypothesis. The critical period could be extended to include the prodrome as well as early psychosis.

Healthy Living Series - Cole Harbour Library


Wednesday, April 22nd, 6:30 pm!



Click on the image to enlarge it.

The Cole Harbour Public Library is located at Cole Harbour Place, 51 Forest Hills Parkway, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.