Schizophrenia: Findings from recent studies

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In some ways diagnosis and treatment of schizophrenia has traditionally been approached categorically and without much creativity. However, findings from recent studies have created new resolve in psychiatric researchers to look for answers about schizophrenia that are “out side of the box.” Several recent studies have indicated that schizophrenia is not just a singular problem with a standardized solution but rather a disease that encompasses a variety of mental health disorders that should be treated individualistically. One such study indicated that genetic mutations, which some have assumed would have been similar in nature among those with schizophrenia, are in fact unique, varying greatly from patient to patient. Findings from studies such as this one are causing a shift in thinking about schizophrenia and are already changing treatment plans to address the disorder. The following is an interesting article from the New York Times which discusses some new thinking about schizophrenia:

Yet there’s a restless energy among psychiatric researchers now, and it’s in part because of several recent studies that, paradoxically, reveal how insufficient current theories about schizophrenia are. Schizophrenia is not a single problem with a uniform solution, these results suggest. Rather, the disease most likely comprises a variety of related mental disorders, with an underlying biology and symptoms that can differ from person to person.

That shift in thinking has already led to expanded treatment options for some patients, and it is likely to guide research on the disorder for years to come.

Perhaps the most striking demonstration of how biologically diverse schizophrenia may be came in a gene study published in March. An analysis of blood samples revealed that rare and previously undetectable genetic mutations were strongly associated with the development of the disorder.

Click here to read the rest of this article from the New York Times

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