Blog Archives

Rat Study Links Lead to Schizophrenia

By Rick Nauert PHD, http://psychcentral.com/

Rat StudyA new study of the brains of rats exposed to lead suggests the metal may contribute to the onset of schizophrenia.

Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health researchers found striking similarities in the rat brains to what is known about the brains of human schizophrenia patients.

A description of the study results appear in the journal Translational Psychiatry.

The researchers found that lead had a detrimental effect on cells in three brain areas implicated in schizophrenia: the medial prefrontal cortex, the hippocampus, and the striatum of rats exposed to lead before birth and in the early part of their lives.

Moreover, the density of brain cells declined by approximately one-third — roughly the same percentage decline seen in schizophrenia patients.

Imaging technology also revealed higher levels of a dopamine receptor similar to what has been documented in human schizophrenia patients, and in a previous study of genetically engineered mice.

“The similarities in the brain structure and neuronal systems between what we see in lead-exposed rats and human schizophrenia patients are striking, and adds to a growing body of literature suggesting that early lead exposure primes the brain for schizophrenia later in life,” said senior author Tomás Guilarte, Ph.D. Read more

Johnson & Johnson recalls schizophrenia drug after discovering mold

English: Risperdal Consta injection syringe Ma...

English: Risperdal Consta injection syringe Magyar: Risperdal Consta injekció (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

By Sakthi Prasad & Jeremy Laurence, http://www.reuters.com

 

Johnson & Johnson is voluntarily recalling one lot of schizophrenia drug Risperdal Consta after discovering mold during a routine testing process, a company spokeswoman said, the latest in a string of recalls over the past two years.

 

Risperdal Consta is manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a unit of Johnson & Johnson. The company is recalling the drug from wholesalers, distributors, pharmacies and healthcare providers.

 

The medicine is a long-acting form of J&J’s Risperdal anti-psychotic medication, and is used to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. It is injected, unlike basic Risperdal, which is a pill.

 

“We estimate that fewer than 5,000 dose packs remain in the market considering our current inventory levels and the usage of this product,” spokeswoman Robyn Reed Frenze said in an email to Reuters. A single lot of Risperdal Consta consists about 70,000 dosage packs.

 

Frenze said that the risk to patients is considered low, and “there have been no trends of adverse events of infection associated with this lot”. Read More

 

 

Is Lead Exposure Behind Cities’ Schizophrenia Problem?

By Sydney Brownstone, http://blogs.villagevoice.com

In New York City, like in many other major metropolises, schizophrenia is a disease that can be more visible than most. In 1999, after a schizophrenic off his meds pushed a woman into the path of an oncoming N train, New York State even came up with a law to make the mentally ill seek compulsory treatment. Kendra’s Law, named after the woman who died on the tracks, sought to prevent violence by pushing schizophrenics with a potential for self-harm or violence into psychiatric care.

But for decades, researchers have been struggling with a bigger question about the nature of the relationship between schizophrenia and cities–and why, for example, growing up in a city makes you more vulnerable to developing schizophrenia as an adult.

A landmark study from Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health and published last week in Schizophrenia Bulletin may shed new light on that connection–for the first time, animal models show that lead, along with other environmental toxins, could be a major contribution to the link. Read More