To mark the 100th anniversary of schizophrenia being recognised as a medical condition, Rethink Mental Illness is launching an inquiry which will investigate a more rational treatment system, as well as looking into how research can be more effectively targeted at the disease.
According to Rethink, around 1% of the population are currently affected by schizophrenia, yet still we are ignorant as to the most effective treatments.
The inquiry is to be led by Sir Robin Murray, the professor of psychiatric research at King’s College London, and the findings are to be announced sometime in the New Year.
According to Professor Murray, schizophrenia actually costs the National Health Service more than cardiac disease or cancer, so it is important that research continues to investigate what is going on within the brain.
As it stands there have been two genome-wide studies that have recognised five genetic risk factors of schizophrenia. According to Professor David Collier from the Institute of Psychiatry who was involved in both, these studies are ‘the most powerful genetic studies of psychosis to date’.
“They include one gene which may be acting as a master regulator, influencing the biological pathways in the brain, that once perturbed lead to schizophrenia.” He said.
Studies such as these along with additional mounting bio-chemistry evidence and brain imaging are continuing to add further weight to the opinion of many psychiatry experts that schizophrenia is a neurological disorder. It is now a case of using these findings as a base for new diagnostic tools and treatments.
For further information about schizophrenia please visit our fact-sheet to find out more.
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