April 12, 2004

Schizophrenia gene New research suggests a gene responsible for one kind of schizophrenia may have remained in the population because it gives protection against infection and infant mortality which outweigh the negative effects.

But then recent research also suggests (not for the first time) that schizophrenia is caused by a virus. Or lead. Or gluten allergy. You can't help but wonder whether Richard Bentall isn't right when he says there is really no such thing as schizophrenia, just a label applied inconsistently to various different sets of symptoms.

  • I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell... Maybe that staph infection never completely went away, blagglywapporeeahreeahschmendrickalocado!!!
  • Having experienced uh, schizophrenic-like effects artificially (AFAICT), I agree with Bentall. I think schizophrenia can be fended off in very early childhood. [IMHO], it depends on how the various perception/cognitive modules/paths are stimulated and developed while the infant is still dealing with developing sensory acuity, compartmentalization and pattern matching. When these developments exhibit variation outside of a certain range, we label it insanity/illness [/IMHO]
  • It's a small improvement. A couple hundred of years ago, we would have labelled it demonic possession or something, and probably half-killed the person trying to 'exorcise' him. Or maybe have them put on ships to nowhere. But I agree, psychology's not a binary structure, but more of variation. I'm sure most people talk to themselves some of the times, at least silently. Or is that not deemed normal?
  • I keep hearing simian voices telling me to cut myself off from friends and family and sit staring at a screen all day... Oh no, wait a minute, that's not schizophrenia...
  • Gyan, at asomwe time could you explain or indicate more fully about how stimulation of cognitive paths etc might ?counteract? or correct/?prevent? schizophrenia. Guessing wildly from your remarks, is there a 'window of opportunity' in childhood that closes, or could countermeasures of whatever sort you seem to be implying exist then work with afflicted folk of any age?
  • Shouldn't mind hearing more about the AFAICT, either.