Thursday, November 11, 2010

Combating schizophrenia


Nature, one of the most prestigious science journals in the world, devotes its November 11th edition to schizophrenia:
Research has revealed daunting complexities in the psychiatric condition, but also new routes towards diagnosis and treatment.

A special collection of articles focuses on the challenges of schizophrenia, from spotting early symptoms during adolescence to changing the stigma associated with the disease.

Editorial

Combating schizophrenia
Research has revealed daunting complexities in the psychiatric condition, but also new routes towards diagnosis and treatment.

News

China tackles surge in mental illness
Psychological examinations added to selection procedure for government officials.

Features

The making of a troubled mind
Schizophrenia appears during adolescence. But where does one begin and the other end?

The drug deadlock
The biology is too complicated. Pharma companies are quitting. Where are schizophrenia drugs going to come from?

Comment

Short-lived campaigns are not enough
The stigma of mental illness will be reduced only if region-specific awareness initiatives become a permanent fixture of health and social services, argues Norman Sartorius.

Cognitive remediation therapy needs funding
More rigorous studies should be done on the effects of a therapy that seems to improve the everyday functioning of people with schizophrenia, says Til Wykes.

In retrospect: The five lives of the psychiatry manual
Roy Richard Grinker describes the military origins of the key reference work for diagnosing mental illness.

Audio

Nature podcast (24:36, Rethinking schizophrenia)
Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, and Til Wykes, psychiatrist at Kings College London, talk about the symptoms, causes and best treatments for schizophrenia.

Perspectives

Rethinking schizophrenia
Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, calls for schizophrenia to be emphasized as a neurodevelopmental disorder in which psychosis is a late — and potentially curable — stage.

From maps to mechanisms through neuroimaging of schizophrenia
Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg, director of the Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, explains how neuroimagng and other systems-level techniques can help develop future treatment.

The environment and schizophrenia
Jim van Os, Gunter Kenis and Bart Rutten review our knowledge of the environmental factors that influence schizophrenia risk, and the major challenges that will be involved in teasing them out.

Image credit: The cover artwork is by Rodger Casier and NARSAD Artworks, a non-profit organization that showcases artists with mental illness. Proceeds from the art go to the research-funding body NARSAD.

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