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Think Twice: New Clues in Schizophrenia


Remember that Phil Collins song advising us to Think Twice before we judge the crazy people in the street? Research published this week in the Journal of Neuroscience confirms that Collins was spot on. Schizophrenia is developmental disease and now scientists are learning that gene-related problems involving neurotransmitters in the prefrontal cortex of the brain may be the heart of the matter. This offers potential promise for better medications to treat abnormalities in the production of the chemical messenger GABA. Researchers have identified problems with the gene GAD1 which produces an enzyme essential for production of GABA and Mll1.

Schizophrenia affects 2 million US citizens and 6.6 million Europeans - yet despite advances in science, we can't shake the stigma attached to the disease. Shizophrenics remain the subject of ridicule, fear and disdain - even though we know rationally they are not possessed by demons, weak-minded or flawed. An accompanying problem is loss of working memory, which may account for the disorganized thinking and loose associations seen in schizophrenia. Clozapine is one antipsychotic medication that appears to help with severe symptoms.

Schizophrenia is an extremely disabling, life-long brain disorder. People whose brains are afflicted with this genetic problem hear voices, have hallucinations and believe others are controlling their thoughts. Schizophrenics have difficulty managing their lives and maintaining employment. Children may not manifest signs of the brain disorder until their late teens. The critical ages are 17-28. So do think twice - that person talking to themselves on the street is someone's child with a brain disorder - someone's child who may not have health insurance and may not have access to medications and treatment needed to control the symptoms of the genetic illness.





Thank you lauradahl for use of HERA[Hemispheric Encoding/Retrieval Assymmetry] Graphic.
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The Healthline Editorial team writes about the latest health news, policy, and research.

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