“The risk of developing schizophrenia is about one percent – around the globe. But in the northeast of Finland, the mental disorder occurs three times more frequently than in other parts of the world.
The northern regions are home to remote rural communities, which were founded by about 40 families in total, says Aarno Palotie, a geneticist at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland in Helsinki. He says the communities have a very specific genetic background. [snip]
Researchers have discovered several genes and even regions in the genetic material that influence whether a person develops schizophrenia or not.
Some of the genes group together on chromosome 22. The researchers say that the loss of a gene on chromosome 22 as much as doubles the risk of developing schizophrenia, or another form of cognitive impairment. It’s thought that some of the genes may even join forces, making a person more prone to the schizophrenia.
But the biochemical drivers behind a protein’s actions are often unknown. [snip]
“We know in which cellular pathway the protein acts in the cell,” says Stoll. “So at least we know where to look.””
‘Risk of developing schizophrenia rises the farther north you go in Finland’
“In a new study, researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai were able to correctly distinguish bipolar patients from healthy individuals based on their brain scans alone most, but not all, of the time.
“Bipolar disorder affects patients’ ability to regulate their emotions successfully, which puts them at great disadvantage in their lives,” said Sophia Frangou, professor of psychiatry at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.
“The situation is made worse by unacceptably long delays, sometimes of up to 10 years, in making the correct diagnosis. Bipolar disorder may be easily misdiagnosed for other disorders, such as depression or schizophrenia.”
Frangou said that is why bipolar disorder ranks among the top 10 disorders worldwide in terms of significant disability.
Frangou and her team used MRI to scan the brains of people with bipolar disorder and of healthy individuals. Using advanced computational models, they were successful in correctly separating people with bipolar disorder from healthy individuals with 73 percent accuracy using brain imaging scans alone.”
‘Diagnosis of the Future? Brain Scan Shows Promise in Diagnosing Bipolar’
“A mentally ill, cancer-stricken woman who spent more than 200 days in segregation at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre [Ottawa, Ontario, Canada] is seeking a record amount of damages along with systemic changes to how the province’s jails treat the mentally ill.
Christina Jahn, 43, alleges that staff at the Innes Road jail denied her cancer medication, left the lights on in her cell night and day, took away her mattress, forcing her to sleep on the floor, and shut off water to her cell for days at a time during separate stays in the detention centre in 2011 and 2012.
Jahn, who is dying from breast and bone cancer, has filed her complaints with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal alleging jail staff discriminated against her because of her mental illness and gender.
The province currently has a secure correctional treatment centre for mentally ill men, but nothing for women.””
‘Mentally ill woman seeks record amount over treatment at Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre’
“Nearly four years after staff at Toronto’s Saint Michael’s Hospital started slipping an anti-psychotic drug into a woman’s orange juice while treating her for lupus, Ontario’s highest court has tossed aside the ruling that allowed her to be drugged against her will, in part because the psychiatrist who diagnosed her with schizophrenia admitted he was “making parts of [her symptoms] up.”
In a sharply worded ruling, the Court of Appeal said there was “no evidence” the woman ever agreed to medication, and overturned the Consent and Capacity Board’s “unreasonable” finding that the woman was mentally incapable of doing so.
“It certainly is a forceful ruling,” said Anita Szigeti, lawyer for the woman, Amy Anten. “It’s important for her personally. In my respectful submission, it’s also very important — and the court appears to have agreed by considering the matter on its merits — to give the Consent and Capacity Board, and also the first appellate level of reviewing court, some guidance on how to really weigh the evidence that goes to the heart of the Charter-protected right of the person against forced treatment.”
The judgment clarifies what kind of evidence to prove a person’s incapacity will withstand legal scrutiny, and it reinforces a patient’s right to refuse medication, which the Supreme Court of Canada upheld in 2003.”
‘Ruling says hospital can’t force anti-psychotic drug on patient after questionable schizophrenia diagnosis’
“A new test could have enormous implications for the treatment and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, allowing for the disease to be detected 10 years earlier than the earliest symptoms of the disease manifest themselves.
The study, published in the Annals of Neurology, described findings from a spinal fluid test taken from 282 subjects, and the discovery was that those who were asymptomatic patients at risk of Alzheimer’s, and those already suffering from symptoms, had lower levels of mitochondrial DNA.
The study, led by Professor Ramon Trullas at the CSIC Institute of Biomedical Research of Barcelona, tested a hypothesis that a reduction in mitochondrial DNA (often referred to as mtDNA) is connected to Alzheimer’s.”
‘Test may reveal Alzheimer’s in patients 10 years before symptoms develop: study’ [study link: here]
“Autism, Denmark and again no link with vaccines”… an interesting article from ‘Left Brain / Right Brain’, an excellent, independent blog whose “core content and interest has always been autism and the news, science – and bad science – associated with it.” These are the studies quoted in their post:
‘Recurrence of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Full- and Half-Siblings and Trends Over Time: A Population-Based Cohort Study’ [Aug. 2013]. and ‘A Population-Based Study of Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccination and Autism’ [Nov. 2002]