Monday, June 16, 2008

Schizophrenia: Disease or a Collection of Symptoms?

An article in The New York Times online discusses new research that supports the theory that schizophrenia is not a disease in the way previously thought, in that it does not seem to result from a specific combination of specific genetic mutations (among other things). It seems that many people who have schizophrenia have combinations of different genetic mutations, which seems to explain the wide range in symptoms. And why medication is so hit or miss.

(My mother is currently taking Zyprexa, but she took a few others beforehand, and for the most part they did not seem to really treat anything so much as just sedate her. She is currently taking a very low dose, but she still takes it before she goes to bed on the days she takes it, zonks out, and is still really groggy most of the next day.)

I wonder how this will influence research/theories about other types of mental illness. Depression is a bit more straightforward (or so it seems) with the seratonin, but what about bipolar disorder or personality disorders? It just hit me that I don't really know too much about mental illnesses other than schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. More reason to learn more...

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