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Medicine News

Secrets of Schizophrenia and Depression "Unlocked" 334

Oracle Goddess writes "According to the US National Institute for Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland, scientists have discovered a remarkable similarity between the genetic faults behind both schizophrenia and manic depression in a breakthrough that is expected to open the way to new treatments for two of the most common mental illnesses, affecting millions of people. Previously schizophrenia and depression were assumed to be two separate conditions, but the new research shows for the first time that both have a common genetic basis that leads people to develop one or the other of the two illnesses."
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Secrets of Schizophrenia and Depression "Unlocked"

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  • by geekoid ( 135745 ) <<moc.oohay> <ta> <dnaltropnidad>> on Thursday July 02, 2009 @11:35AM (#28558325) Homepage Journal

    More articles like this one, please.

  • With three comments, this article has already been tagged with "nutjobs".

    Grow up. Chances are you know someone who has (or will develop) one of these conditions to some degree, even if you don't know it (which is likely if you are that much of a jackass, they probably wouldn't tell you).

    I don't normally do angry rants, but sometimes I'm surprised by the juvenile and compassionless attitudes of some people on /.

  • by neowolf ( 173735 ) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @11:39AM (#28558395)

    The title is a bit misleading. There is a big difference between Depression and Bipolar/Manic-Depressive disorders.

  • Just becasue they are complex doesn't mean the information can't be found.

    Just becasue something is unknown doesn't mean it's unknowable.

  • Awesome. I have saidf for a while that will be the killer app for future devices. uilt in achievments, as well as achievements that can be added.

    Achievement unlocked! you ahve walked 1,000,000 steps.
    Achievement unlocked! You have run a 10 minute mile! next achievement, 8 minute mile.

    You have listened to your 10000 th minute of music.

    And so on.

  • by grub ( 11606 ) <slashdot@grub.net> on Thursday July 02, 2009 @11:58AM (#28558671) Homepage Journal

    Are you in a mania right now?

    Nope. Remember that different people have different 'windows'. When the bottoming out came it was pretty shitty, slept all the time, would bawl my eyes out for no reason, etc. But I wasn't seriously suicidal.

    The past many years have had a few odd low ends but nothing as drastic as when I was in my late 20's. Part of the problem with the low end was self-medicating with booze or non-pharm drugs. Nowadays if I feel even remotely bummed out I won't touch a drop of booze, it may not make things necessarily rosey right away but it won't lower me further into the pit.
  • Duh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Areyoukiddingme ( 1289470 ) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @12:07PM (#28558807)

    Anybody who has had long association with a manic-depressive already knew this. I'm related to one. The first time, he went completely manic. Didn't sleep for a week, etc. The last time he went around the bend, he DIDN'T go manic-depressive. He went paranoid schizophrenic. I can't believe any competent clinician hadn't already noticed that the same patient can easily exhibit symptoms of both, even at the same time. Given that both are caused by imbalances in brain chemistry, and given that the same patient can be both, how big of a leap is it to notice that they're really just different manifestations of the same problem?

    He's much better now, though he still prefers his own flights of fancy to reality. But at least he's capable of distinguishing the two again. After over a decade of on-again off-again lunacy, he's finally decided to take his meds regularly, and he, his therapist, and his mother have found an effective dosage (of Depacote, for the morbidly curious. The stuff works very well, IF, and I repeat IF the dosage is precisely correct. Too little does nothing. Too much ruins the patient's ability to stay awake, let alone function.) It is perhaps telling that regardless of whether he was manic, depressive, paranoid, or schizophrenic, his therapist wanted him to use Depacote. Practitioners already know that the same drug can treat a patient with any of those symptoms.

    So, at the risk of repeating myself... duh?

  • Re:Warning (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MindKata ( 957167 ) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @12:23PM (#28559065) Journal
    "You're glib. You don't know the history of psychiatry. I do."

    BadAnalogyGuy, judging from your other posts on this thread, you sound like you've probably got more drugs in you than Amy Wine-warehouse on a "I've just forgot the world getting high day" (Its a national holiday in Amsterdam), so I guess you were probably there when they opened Bethlem as a hospital in the 13th century. ;)

    (Bethlem as in i.e. ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bethlem_Royal_Hospital [wikipedia.org])

    (See humor and a relevant educational history lesson all in one neatly packaged post ;)
  • by UncleTogie ( 1004853 ) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @12:24PM (#28559083) Homepage Journal

    ... how would they determine how they are related in the first place? Especially given the complexity of these issues in their relation to the central nervous system.

    Same way they diagnose people. They guess.

    Psychiatry is the only industry where someone can present the same affect to 10 shrinks and get 10 different diagnoses. Trust me on this.

    ...and no, no Dianetics, e-meters, or Xenu for me, thanks for asking.

  • Re:So what is it? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lemming Mark ( 849014 ) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @12:42PM (#28559375) Homepage

    schitzophrenia [sic] is not multiple personalities, that one is called "disassociative identity disorder"

    Yeah but hillbillies want to be called 'Sons of the Soil', but it's never going to happen....

    I'm not sure where you're going with that one... Sure, in general usage a language is defined by the whims of the people who speak it. But when it's technical jargon - in this case medical jargon - the technical definition, as opposed to "what everyone calls it" is rather important! I've had friends who call a CRT monitor "the computer", yet my CRT is still unable to function without the part that the geeks refer to as "the computer". Sometimes the commonly used phrase can be technically wrong and therefore misleading, despite the fact that it's popular.

    There's also a wider point at stake here: in general, we reserve the right to change the generally accepted meaning of words in the English language (presumably ditto for most other living languages) according to what most people understand them to mean. This typically does not happen in the same way within technical disciplines; physicists draw a distinction between "speed" and "velocity" and show no signs of changing. Usually what terms the techies appropriate to mean something very specific does not affect the rest of us - there's not much point in me labouring the distinction between monitor and computer with my friends, since the misunderstanding doesn't really hurt anyone. This is not the case for medical terminology, where the name of the disease tends to become a label for the sufferers in discussion, as well as a convenient way for a sufferer to explain their condition to an interested third party. The names of diseases have specific technical meanings to a Doctor but are often also used in everyday conversation between people explaining their health situation.

    Doctors aren't going to alter the names of diseases just because common usage often confuses a couple of them - it's technical jargon and there's no sense creating confusion in the medical community by changing that around. So it's up to the rest of us: do we want to stick the wrong label on an ill person because it's a generally accepted misunderstanding, or do we attempt to clarify the differences between disorders, knowing that a greater understanding and better use of the terminology is the only way the confusion will ever be resolved.

    I'm sticking with the latter approach since it raises public awareness of important issues, even though I know there will always be people who remain confused about the distinction.

  • by tbuskey ( 135499 ) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @03:27PM (#28562657) Journal

    Well, the medicated state is unnatural.

    I can agree with you there.

    IMHO (and IAAMD) the term "antidepressant" is a big misnomer. They are really mood stabilizers, ala lithium. They do flatten both the ups and downs and they do interfere with creative energy and ability.

    I've been suffering from clinical depression for over 10 years. I've tried a number of different medications due to side effects and the meds no longer working. Now this is for depression, not bipolar so I might be way off from what you're talking about.

    I mainly experience the meds making it possible to be happy. With the depression, it just doesn't seem possible. But I haven't had problems with my creative energy or ability while on the meds.

    Without the meds, I have no creative ability so there's no peak. With the meds, its possible to have a peak.

e-credibility: the non-guaranteeable likelihood that the electronic data you're seeing is genuine rather than somebody's made-up crap. - Karl Lehenbauer