Good News On The Research Front Regarding Schizophrenia


I frequently scan numerous sites in search of the “miracle.” On Feb. 2, 2011, I found a reason for hope on the website of the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (, a charity I support. Part of the article is as follows:

            “In a major advance for schizophrenia research, an international team of scientists, led by Jonathan Sebat, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry and cellular and molecular medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, has identified a gene mutation linked to the brain disorder—and a signaling pathway that may be treatable with existing compounds.

            The work poses significant and immediate implications for neurobiology and treatment of schizophrenia because the gene identified by the researchers is an especially attractive target for drug development.”

            The next step, according to the article, is testing on mice and cultured human cells that carry the mutation. The gene mentioned is VIPR2, which causes duplications at the tip of chromosome 7q. (You can, of course, also google the doctor’s name, the gene, and the chromosome for more info.)

            On an additional, somewhat related topic, a member at a NAMI meeting (National Alliance of Mental Illness) mentioned that her son, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia about six years ago, has Lyme disease. They now suspect he never had schizophrenia, after all, and he is on a course of antibiotics to treat his infection. Testing for Lyme involves a blood sample. The first sign of Lyme is usually a bulls-eye rash. If the disease is not caught in its early stages it can affect the brain, nerves, eyes, and joints. Most people with schizophrenia do not have Lyme, but it may be worth considering, especially for those who are newly diagnosed.

            Let’s hope that scientists are now on the right track and that these recent discoveries will result in better treatment for all the devastating mental illnesses which plague our human family.


About waywardweed

I am a consumer and parent of two sons, one with a mental illness and the other a third-year law student.
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One Response to Good News On The Research Front Regarding Schizophrenia

  1. iammybrain says:

    I had Lyme disease really bad when I was in 5th grade, so bad that I lost upwards of 40lbs and almost died in Children’s Hospital in Boston because the doctors there, even chairs of departments, refused to believe my mother who was certain that I had Lyme. This was in 1998, only 13 years ago, and now Lyme disease is endemic in the Northeastern and Northwestern US. I cant remember where I saw it, but years ago I read a study where they gave a group of institutionalized people with lifelong cases of medicine resistant schizophrenia large doses of the antibiotics used to treat Lyme, and a decent percentage of them no longer experienced schizophrenic symptoms. There are also other diseases that are carried by certain ticks along with Lyme disease, of which awareness is almost completely non-existent. Also high fevers from many illnesses can result in long term neurological and psychological damage/symptoms/diseases.

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