Schizophrenia Symptoms and the Search for a Cure
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New de novo Genetic Mutations in Schizophrenia Identified

New de novo Genetic Mutations in Schizophrenia Identified | Schizophrenia Symptoms and the Search for a Cure | Scoop.it

Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) researchers have identified dozens of new spontaneous genetic mutations that play a significant role in the development of schizophrenia, adding to the growing list of genetic variants that can contribute to the disease. The study, the largest and most comprehensive of its kind, was published today in the online edition of the journal Nature Genetics. 

Although schizophrenia typically onsets during adolescence and early adulthood, many of the mutations were found to affect genes with higher expression during early-to-mid fetal development. Together, the findings show that both the function of the mutated gene and when the gene is expressed are critically important in determining the risk for schizophrenia. (...) - Neuroscience News, October 3, 2012

Original article: "De novo gene mutations highlight patterns of genetic and neural complexity in schizophrenia" , by Xu B et al., Nature Genetics, Published online 03 October 2012


Via Julien Hering, PhD
Arielle Gold's insight:

This article discusses a study that was conducted by scientists in order to have a better understanding of the mutations that cause Schizophrenia (Xu et al., 2012). The article discusses that these mutations commonly occur when a fetus is developing in the womb (Xu et al., 2012),  and can be caused by various infections or viruses. This concept is also discussed in the "Exploring Psychology in Modules" textbook, written by David G. Myers (Myers & Myers, 2008). Through comparing the exomes; parts of the genetic material of an individual that consist of the coding portions of genes, of individuals who do not have schizophrenia with those of their parents who also had no relation to the disorder, scientists were able to come to the conclusion that there is no specific brain mutation that is responsible for causing or increasing the chances of an individual having Schizophrenia (Xu et al., 2012). There are countless different mutations that can increase an individual's chance of getting this mental disorder, which can be scary to think about, however, this study seems to have given scientists a better understanding of Schizophrenia than they have ever had before. Because of this, chances are that in the near future, psychological scientists may be able to better predict the onset of Schizophrenia in a patient, and ideally prevent it from happening altogether.

 

This research is valuable for people of all ages and genders, particularly those who have Schizophrenia, because it shows them that people are working hard to find a cure, and gives them hope that the cure will be found in the near future (Xu et al., 2012). The information in this article appears to be reliable and accurate because it is well-written, and the contributors are listed at the bottom (Xu et al., 2012). These contributors appear to be well-educated because the majority of them work for the Columbia University Medical Center (Xu et al., 2012), which seems to be a well-renowned medical facility. The scientific explanations in this article were thorough and described in detail, and were based on information provided by accurate sources (Xu et al., 2012). 

 

The following is the full-text reference of the textbook that was briefly mentioned in my evaluation of this article, along with the citation of the article itself:

 

Myers, D. G., & Myers, D. G. (2008). Schizophrenia. In Exploring Psychology in Modules(9th ed., pp. 562-568). Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=ReckAAAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&authuser=2&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&hl=en&output=reader&pg=GBS.PA568

 

Xu, B., Ionata-Laza, I., Louw Roos, J., Boone, B., Woodrick, S., Sun, Y., & Levy, S. (2012, October 3). "New De Novo Genetic Mutations in Schizophrenia Identified" - Neuroscience News. Retrieved from http://neurosciencenews.com/new-de-novo-genetic-mutations-in-schizophrenia-identified/

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I have Paranoid Schizophrenia

This is a film i made about my experience of having Paranoid Schizophrenia with help from the Bethlem Hospital London (Apologies for using the inappropriate ...
Arielle Gold's insight:

This film encapsulates a very different way of viewing Paranoid Schizophrenia (Ennidart, 2014). It is narrated by a patient who has the disorder, and primarily discusses her personal feelings, rather than the scientific way of viewing the symptoms (Ennidart, 2014). Paranoid Schizophrenia is defined as "Preoccupation with delusions or hallucinations, often with themes of persecution or grandiosity" (Myers & Myers, 2008, p. 562). The subject of this video talks about her own experiences with feelings of being chased, or believing that there are cameras hidden in her house (Ennidart, 2014). She mentions that there are many days that she feels that all of the bad things that are broadcasted on the news are her fault, and times that she is suspicious that people want to hurt her, even those who she perceives as her closest friends (Ennidart, 2014). She also mentions that she has to take medication regularly, and that the medication seems to subdue her symptoms (Ennidart, 2014). This medication is likely suppressing the dopamine receptors in her brain, which are typically responsible for the intensified brain signals that are often associated with Schizophrenia symptoms (Myers & Myers, 2008). Although drugs can help to suppress symptoms in patients, there are other ways of doing so that aren't way so invasive (Montemagni et. Al, 2014, Luciano, Bond, Drake, 2014). Studies have shown a decrease in symptoms of schizophrenia patients who have a well-balanced social life (Montemagni et al., 2014), along with those who play a more active role in society through opportunities such as employment (Luciano, Bond, & Drake, 2014). Both of these variables are known to make or break an individual's self-esteem, which plays a large role in the impact that Schizophrenia can have on an individual (Montemagni et al., 2014, Myers & Myers, 2008).

 

This video allows people who do not have Schizophrenia to see a bit further into what it is like to have this disorder (Ennidart, 2014), and could potentially provide people who do have Schizophrenia with some sort of comfort in knowing that there are others out there who go through the same daily struggles. The information that is provided in this video appears to be accurate because it is coming from an actual Schizophrenia patient, with the help of Bethlem Hospital in London (Ennidart, 2014). 

 

The following are full-text references that I cited in my evaluation of this video, along with a citation for the video as well:

 

Ennidart. (2014, June 25). I have Paranoid Schizophrenia [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pyYBM_ioXI

 

Luciano, A., Bond, G., & Drake, R. (2014, September 29). "Does Employment Alter the Course and Outcome of Schizophrenia and Other Severe Mental Illnesses? A Systematic Review of Longitudinal Research" - ScienceDirect. Retrieved from             http://www.sciencedirect.com.ezproxy.westminstercollege.edu/science/article/pii/S0920996414004769

 

Montemagni, C., F. Castagna, B. Crivelli, G. De Marzi, T. Frieri, A. Macri, and P. Rocca. "Relative Contributions of Negative Symptoms, Insight, and Coping Strategies to Quality of Life in Stable Schizophrenia" -ScienceDirect. N.p., 30 July 2014. Web. <http://www.sciencedirect.com.ezproxy.westminstercollege.edu/science/article/pii/S0165178114005988#>.

 

Myers, D. G., & Myers, D. G. (2008). Schizophrenia. In Exploring Psychology in Modules(9th ed., pp. 562-568). Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=ReckAAAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&authuser=2&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&hl=en&output=reader&pg=GBS.PA568

 

 

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Living With Schizophrenia

This uplifting 22 minute video shows interviews with patients living with schizophrenia, and mental health professionals who treat them. It shows how people ...
Arielle Gold's insight:

This video discusses not only people's personal experiences with Schizophrenia, but also the errors in how our society views this mental disorder (The LEAP Institute, 2013). Many people do not understand that this disorder stems from changes that occur within the brain, and believe that it is basically a personality disorder (The LEAP Institute, 2013). They believe that people who have Schizophrenia are dangerous, and should be avoided (The LEAP Institute, 2013). This type of social isolation can increase symptoms such as depression, and make living with Schizophrenia even more challenging than it already is (Montemagni et al., 2014). The people who speak in this video are patients with Schizophrenia, and doctors or psychologists who have experience with the disorder (The LEAP Institute, 2013). The goal of this video is seemingly to educate people about what Schizophrenia is, and about the challenges that patients typically must overcome in an attempt to live a normal life. The symptoms of Schizophrenia are often onset by chemical imbalances in the brain, which can cause an excess amount of activity in the brain, typically seen during hallucinations, or a suppressed amount of activity, seen in areas such as the frontal lobe (Myers & Myers, 2008). Many of the patients in this video begin by discussing the age that they began to experience symptoms, such as hearing voices in their head, or being depressed for seemingly no reason (The LEAP Institute, 2013). One of the most common symptoms, which impacts around 50% of patients, is something called "anosognosia," which is basically a lack of awareness of their illness (The LEAP Institute, 2013). Because of anosognosia, there are many people who are currently living with Schizophrenia or another mental disorder that are completely unaware, because they do not know that what they are experiencing is abnormal (The LEAP Institute, 2013). The video concludes by discussing ways to help alleviate symptoms in Schizophrenia patients, such as having a more interactive social life (Montemagni et al., 2014), and reminds individuals with this disorder that they are not alone (The LEAP Institute, 2013).

 

This video is useful and informative to a very broad audience, including those with and without Schizophrenia (The LEAP Institute, 2013). It clearly provides accurate factual information by showcasing well-educated doctors and psychologists discussing what Schizophrenia is, and how they have attempted to alleviate symptoms in their patients (The LEAP Institute, 2013).

 

The following are sources that I briefly mentioned in the evaluation of this video, along with a citation for the actual video itself:

 

The LEAP Institute. (2013, February 18). Living With Schizophrenia [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48YJMOcykvc

  

Montemagni, C., F. Castagna, B. Crivelli, G. De Marzi, T. Frieri, A. Macri, and P. Rocca. "Relative Contributions of Negative Symptoms, Insight, and Coping Strategies to Quality of Life in Stable Schizophrenia" -ScienceDirect. N.p., 30 July 2014. Web. <http://www.sciencedirect.com.ezproxy.westminstercollege.edu/science/article/pii/S0165178114005988#>.

 

Myers, D. G., & Myers, D. G. (2008). Schizophrenia. In Exploring Psychology in Modules(9th ed., pp. 562-568). Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=ReckAAAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&authuser=2&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&hl=en&output=reader&pg=GBS.PA568

 

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Schizophrenia | Overview & Symptoms

General overview of schizophrenia including some symptoms and how they apply to me. Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by impairment in thought...
Arielle Gold's insight:

This video is really interesting to watch because it discusses what Schizophrenia is, and the symptoms of the various types of this disorder, from the point of view of an individual that has Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia can be defined as a mental disorder that hinders an individual's ability to perceive and respond to normal activity or stimulation. It impairs an individual's way of thinking, and can make it challenging for him/her to differentiate between what is real and what is not. There are both positive and negative symptoms that are onset by Schizophrenia. Positive symptoms are not actually good symptoms, they are simply considered positive because they are basically additions to an individual's normal way of functioning. Paranoia and delusions are considered to be common positive symptoms of Schizophrenia. Delusions can be characterized as any false beliefs that fragment or warp a person's way of thinking about or perceiving what is happening around them (Myers & Myers, 2008). On the other hand, negative symptoms virtually take away certain aspects that contribute to an individual's normal way of functioning. Inability to express emotions at appropriate times, along with being isolated socially, are considered to be common negative symptoms. All of the positive and negative symptoms discussed in this video are considered to be symptoms that are typically related to paranoid and/or disorganized Schizophrenia, both considered to be subtypes of the disorder (Myers & Myers, 2008). The narrator of this film also discusses the social and societal challenges that Schizophrenia can have, such as alienation from people who were once friends, or difficulty finding a job. With a mental disorder like Schizophrenia, an individual's sense of self-worth is extremely delicate. If a patient has a low self-esteem, it can intensify symptoms like depression (Montemagni et al., 2014, Luciano Bond, Drake, 2014). Because of this, it is critical for Schizophrenia patients to find something or someone that allows them to feel a sense of self-worth (Montemagni et al., 2014, Luciano Bond, Drake, 2014). Both employment and social status can either suppress or increase symptoms, depending on the experiences that patients have with them (Montemagni et al., 2014, Luciano, Bond, Drake, 2014). 

 

The information in this video is extremely interesting because it not only discusses factual information about Schizophrenia, but also briefly describes the subject's personal experience with the disorder. It could be considered useful and informative to a wide range of people, including those who may have Schizophrenia, and those who do not, because there are no biases towards gender, age, or other characteristics that could limit the target audience. Because the creator of this video is a Schizophrenia patient herself, and because the information discussed in this video is comparable to other research that I have done, I have reason to believe that the information discussed is accurate, and provides a unique and useful insight into the many symptoms of Schizophrenia. 

 

The following are full-text references that I cited in various parts of my evaluation of this video, along with a citation of the article itself:

 

Asphodel, A. (2013, July 18). Schizophrenia | Overview & Symptoms [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MQy3iOtnB0

 

Luciano, A., Bond, G., & Drake, R. (2014, September 29).

"Does Employment Alter the Course and Outcome of Schizophrenia and Other Severe Mental Illnesses? A Systematic Review of Longitudinal Research" – ScienceDirect. Retrieved from             http://www.sciencedirect.com.ezproxy.westminstercollege.edu/science/article/pii/S0920996414004769

 

Montemagni, C., F. Castagna, B. Crivelli, G. De Marzi, T. Frieri, A. Macri, and P. Rocca. "Relative Contributions of Negative Symptoms, Insight, and Coping Strategies to Quality of Life in Stable Schizophrenia" - ScienceDirect. N.p., 30 July 2014. Web. <http://www.sciencedirect.com.ezproxy.westminstercollege.edu/science/article/pii/S0165178114005988#>.

 

Myers, D. G., & Myers, D. G. (2008). Schizophrenia. In Exploring Psychology in Modules(9th ed., pp. 562-568). Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=ReckAAAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&authuser=2&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&hl=en&output=reader&pg=GBS.PA568

 

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Gene Discoveries Could Shed New Light on Schizophrenia – WebMD

Gene Discoveries Could Shed New Light on Schizophrenia – WebMD | Schizophrenia Symptoms and the Search for a Cure | Scoop.it
Although these schizophrenia-associated genes aren't specific enough to be used as a test to predict who will or will not develop the illness, researchers say they might someday be used as a screening tool for high-risk ...
Arielle Gold's insight:

This article discusses the concept that the onset of Schizophrenia in an individual is not directly tied to genetics, however, scientists have discovered that there are ways that genetic programming of the brain in small, cumulative ways can elevate the chances of developing Schizophrenia (Dallas, 2014). According to a chapter in the textbook "Exploring Psychology in Modules" that discusses Schizophrenia, without a family history of Schizophrenia, the odds of an individual being diagnosed are around 1 in 100 (Myers & Myers, 2008). However, if an individual's sibling or parent is diagnosed, their odds increase to about 1 in 10 (Myers & Myers, 2008). Although the onset of Schizophrenia is related to changes in brain activity (Dallas, 2014), scientists have recently discovered that the odds of an individual being diagnosed with the disease can also be increased by up to 2 percent due to viral infections that may occur while a child is in the womb (Myers & Myers, 2008).

 

This article seems as though it would be relevant to a relatively large audience, simply because it discusses the odds of developing Schizophrenia in all individuals without any sort of bias towards a specific gender or age (Dallas, 2014). After reviewing other sources related to the findings in this article, it appears that this article is both current and relevant, and that the sources, such as Thomas Lehner, the chief of NIMH's Genomics Research Branch (Dallas, 2014), are reliable. With that being said, the author could further validate her article by citing some of the scientists and research institutions that contributed to the conclusions in this study.

 

The following is the full-text citation of the textbook that I discussed in my review of this article, along with a citation for the article itself: 

 

Dallas, M. (2014, July 22). Gene Discoveries Could Shed New Light on Schizophrenia – WebMD. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/schizophrenia/news/20140722/gene-discoveries-could-shed-new-light-on-schizophrenia

 

Myers, D. G., & Myers, D. G. (2008). Schizophrenia. In Exploring Psychology in Modules(9th ed., pp. 562-568). Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=ReckAAAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&authuser=2&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&hl=en&output=reader&pg=GBS.PA568

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How Smartphone Apps Can Treat Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia | WIRED

How Smartphone Apps Can Treat Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia | WIRED | Schizophrenia Symptoms and the Search for a Cure | Scoop.it
A slew of mental health apps are coming out of academic institutions, research clinics and a number of start-ups. They all seek to facilitate the management of serious mental illnesses—such as severe depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Via Alex Butler, Mariano Fernandez S., Celine Sportisse
Arielle Gold's insight:

This article discusses one of the many smart phone applications that has been created in order to help alleviate the symptoms of Schizophrenia, and other unpredictable mental disorders (Alba, 2014). The primary application that is discussed is called "Priori" (Alba, 2014). Priori is designed to monitor a patient's tone when he is speaking, along with the periods of time that he isn't speaking (Alba, 2014). It focuses on the speed and tone of his talking, and any rapid changes in topic that may occur (Alba, 2014). Any offsets that Priori records in the patient's regular way of communicating may help him to better predict an impending Schizophrenic episode. These sort of episodes can not only be dangerous to ones-self, but potentially to those around the individual experiencing the episode (Myers & Myers, 2008). Symptoms may include something as basic as laughing or crying at inappropriate times, or potentially as severe as immobility and even hallucinations (Myers & Myers, 2008). Schizophrenia is considered to be one of the most severe examples of "psychosis," or "a broad term for a disorder marked by irrationality, distorted perceptions, and lost contact with reality (Myers & Myers, 2008, p. 562)," because it may not necessarily be consistent, and can be onset at any given time (Alba, 2014). With that being said, although Priori is still in it's developmental phase, this application has the potential to warn patients and their doctors of an impending episode, so that they can better prepare, and ideally make the episode minimally damaging to the patient, and those around him/her (Alba, 2014).

 

This article is very well-written, and appears to be reliable because of several different sources cited throughout, including Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, a psychiatrist in chief at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center (Alba, 2014). Any scientific information that was included about Schizophrenia or other mental disorders seemed to be accurate because it was given to the author by physicians, and even an actual mental disorder patient, named Bryan Timlin (Alba, 2014). If I were to recommend any changes in order to help the author verify the accuracy of this article, I would suggest the inclusion of a full reference page that will give any contributors all of the credit that they deserve, while giving readers the tools to do some research on their own.

 

The following is the full-text citation of the textbook that I discussed in my review of this article, along with a citation for the article itself:

 

Alba, D. (2014, November 20). "How Smartphone Apps Can Treat Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia" - Wired. Retrieved from http://www.wired.com/2014/11/mental-health-apps/

 

Myers, D. G., & Myers, D. G. (2008). Schizophrenia. In Exploring Psychology in Modules(9th ed., pp. 562-568). Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=ReckAAAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&authuser=2&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&hl=en&output=reader&pg=GBS.PA568

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Karin Benckert's curator insight, November 21, 2014 7:46 AM

Otroligt - det här är verkligen något som kan göra skillnad i människors liv. Och inte bara för den som är sjuk utan för alla människor.