Giving a Voice to the Silence offers positive angles to the issue that faces those with mental illness. Living with Schizo-Affective Disorder and being able to share my experiences with others, is the best way I know how to pay it forward. Life can be difficult, my goal is to bring a bit of hope to a place where many feel there is none.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Can We Diagnose Schizophrenia With Noise?

A box of Risperdal tabletsImage via WikipediaI was a bit skeptical when I read this article, but I must say whether I agree with the results or not, the idea that research is being done and these illnesses are being recognized is, in itself, a blessing.

The Yale school of medicine conducted a study that looks at the tendency to take a meaningful message out of meaningless noise. The idea of the study is producing a "matrix of unreality" can trigger the initial phase of Schizo-spectrum disorders. With this knowledge it may be possible to detect the early signs of Schizo.

Studies of 43 people already diagnosed with symptoms of social withdraw, mild perceptual alternations or misinterpretation of social cues. The participants were given either the drug Zyprexa, an antipsychotic used to treat Schizo and BP, or a placebo. With the medication or placebo given, the participants were given headphones in order to listen to text read by 6 different people at the same time. This created difficulty when it came to comprehension; with the words of any sort of consistency being increased, such as children, A-OK and republican.

After the text was read, 80% of the participants who "heard" phrases of 4 or more words in length developed Schizo-related illness while not on the medication Zyprexa. However, there were also 6% of the participants who did not hear the same phrases, who developed Schizo.

As is to be expected this is not an exact science and is not meant to say this type of screening will be used to note early development of Schizo, but there is hope that with early diagnosis, earlier treatment is not far off.

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