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Posts Tagged ‘News’

We’re back so let’s Rock & Roll!

November 18th, 2009 John Comments off

Everything is F%$#ING great! The IMOTIONHOSTING technical support is – well I’ve never talked to such intelligent and knowledgeable people - THEY make all other tech support people I’ve ever talked to ever sound like a bunch of DUMB ARSES! I had ANXIETY like a wild rat in a cage for the last few days and I felt like I had a coiled rattle snake in my stomach. Now I feel I can breath and dream again. This is all of our’s so let’s Rock & Roll!

ozzy with rat

Categories: John Poole, News Tags:

Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in a major new study

October 21st, 2009 John Comments off

Sufferers of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are being brought together in a major new study to determine the diseases common genetic causes.

For the first time, sufferers of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are being brought together in a major new study investigating the diseases’ common genetic causes and manifestations. UNSW researchers believe the study will challenge the traditional classification of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder as separate diseases. They hope the results will aid the early detection of a cognitive vulnerability to psychosis in adolescence, facilitating early intervention and the development of drug treatments that can be personalised according to genotype.

Recent molecular genetic and epidemiological studies in Sweden and the US have suggested that the disorders share some common genetic susceptibility, but the results have not been definitive in determining which genes are shared and what they code for. “The international diagnostic manual for the classification of psychiatric disorders is currently being revised and it’s being considered as to whether schizophrenia and bipolar disorder should be grouped together. It’s very controversial,” said study leader Dr Melissa Green, from UNSW’s School of Psychiatry.

“There’s not been enough evidence so far to support that change – this study will provide good quality evidence on this issue,” she said. Dr Green and her team will integrate data from genetics, functional neuroimaging, cognitive testing and physiological measurements to pinpoint shared genetic susceptibility to the disorders, which may manifest in common cognitive and frontal brain dysfunctions. “We’ve spent over 100 years trying to work out what’s causing schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and many people believe that maintaining these conditions as distinct diseases has been holding us back,” Dr Green said. “Already some medications are shared across the two disorders, and are aimed at treating overt psychotic symptoms. With more information, new drugs could be developed to improve the enduring cognitive deficits as well.”

Dr Green was recently named as an Australian Research Council Future Fellow, with her project attracting close to $700,000 funding over four years from the federal government. The study is being conducted in collaboration with researchers at the Schizophrenia Research Institute, the Black Dog Institute, the Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute, and Leiden University, The Netherlands.

Provided by University of New South Wales

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Image Content Review

October 20th, 2009 John Comments off

This coming weekend we are going to start the process of reviewing all image content on www.bipolarartists.com. This will be the first major review since the site was launched. We expect some minor and major changes to take place. We will be looking at artists for their continued participation and/or imagery for it’s uniqueness and expression within the framework of our project’s mission. We will appreciate your understanding as this process and change takes place.

Categories: John Poole, News Tags:

Minds on the Edge: Facing Mental Illness

September 22nd, 2009 John Comments off

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has launched a national outreach campaign around “Minds on the Edge: Facing Mental Illness”, a television program being released to PBS stations in early October 2009 in conjunction with Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW). The campaign will last one year, building on PBS broadcasts extending through Mental Health Month in May 1210, as well as other multimedia events. For more information about this campaign and PBS television series visit: www.mindsontheedge.org

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Pharmaceutical Industry Crime

September 10th, 2009 John 1 comment

From PharmaTimes

Pharma “part of well-organised crime” in US

09 September 2009

The pharmaceutical industry has made major contributions to the health of the US public, but it must also be considered part of the nation’s well-organized crime, says an industry critic.

Last week’s $2.3 billion settlement between Pfizer and the US Justice Department for unlawful prescription drug promotion may sound large, but it is not enough to ensure drug companies will curb their bad behavior – in fact, it just shows there is competition in the pharmaceutical industry, according to Sidney Wolfe, director of US advocacy group Public Citizen’s Health Research Group.

Pfizer has broken a record set by Eli Lilly in January for what was then described by the Justice Department as the “largest individual corporate criminal fine” in U.S. history – more than $500 million in criminal penalties for off-label promotion of Zyprexa (olanzapine), its treatment for psychotic conditions including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder – but now, just seven months later, Pfizer has broken this record with a criminal fine of $1.2 billion, the largest ever imposed in the US for any matter, he says. The rest of the $2.3 billion represents civil penalties.

“The US pharmaceutical industry, long one of the most profitable in the country with profits last year of close to $50 billion, has engaged in an unprecedented amount of criminal activity in the past decade, all aimed at increasing sales, often by illegally promoting drugs for diseases for which evidence that benefits outweigh harm is lacking – also known as illegal off-label promotion,” says Dr Wolfe. When doctors are induced, either by being bribed or misled by drug companies, to prescribe drugs for such purposes, there is “a reasonable chance” that the drugs will do more harm than good and patients may be seriously injured or killed by such promotion, he warns.

In addition to Pfizer – which also pleaded guilty to criminal charges for off-label promotion of its anticonvulsant Neurontin (gabapentin) in 2004 – and Lilly, other drug companies found to have engaged in criminal activity in the past 10 years include Abbott, Schering-Plough, AstraZeneca, Purdue and Bayer, says Dr Wolfe. However, he adds: “the ever-escalating fines are unlikely to stop drug companies from continuing to bribe doctors because they represent just a fraction of drug company profits and no one has gone to jail.”

Until “corporate titans are forced to fork over a much larger proportion of their illegally-gotten profits and are put behind bars, nothing will change,” he concludes.

By Lynne Taylor

09 September 2009
The pharmaceutical industry has made major contributions to the health of the US public, but it must also be considered part of the nation’s well-organized crime, says an industry critic.
Last week’s $2.3 billion settlement between Pfizer and the US Justice Department for unlawful prescription drug promotion may sound large, but it is not enough to ensure drug companies will curb their bad behavior – in fact, it just shows there is competition in the pharmaceutical industry, according to Sidney Wolfe, director of US advocacy group Public Citizen’s Health Research Group.
Pfizer has broken a record set by Eli Lilly in January for what was then described by the Justice Department as the “largest individual corporate criminal fine” in U.S. history – more than $500 million in criminal penalties for off-label promotion of Zyprexa (olanzapine), its treatment for psychotic conditions including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder – but now, just seven months later, Pfizer has broken this record with a criminal fine of $1.2 billion, the largest ever imposed in the US for any matter, he says. The rest of the $2.3 billion represents civil penalties.
“The US pharmaceutical industry, long one of the most profitable in the country with profits last year of close to $50 billion, has engaged in an unprecedented amount of criminal activity in the past decade, all aimed at increasing sales, often by illegally promoting drugs for diseases for which evidence that benefits outweigh harm is lacking – also known as illegal off-label promotion,” says Dr Wolfe. When doctors are induced, either by being bribed or misled by drug companies, to prescribe drugs for such purposes, there is “a reasonable chance” that the drugs will do more harm than good and patients may be seriously injured or killed by such promotion, he warns.
In addition to Pfizer – which also pleaded guilty to criminal charges for off-label promotion of its anticonvulsant Neurontin (gabapentin) in 2004 – and Lilly, other drug companies found to have engaged in criminal activity in the past 10 years include Abbott, Schering-Plough, AstraZeneca, Purdue and Bayer, says Dr Wolfe. However, he adds: “the ever-escalating fines are unlikely to stop drug companies from continuing to bribe doctors because they represent just a fraction of drug company profits and no one has gone to jail.”
Until “corporate titans are forced to fork over a much larger proportion of their illegally-gotten profits and are put behind bars, nothing will change,” he concludes.
By Lynne Taylor
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Genetic Breakthrough for Schizophrenia and Bipolar

September 4th, 2009 John Comments off

A multi-national group of investigators has discovered that nearly a third of the genetic basis of schizophrenia may be attributed to the cumulative actions of thousands of common genetic variants. The effects of each of these genetic changes, innocuous on its own, add up to a significant risk for developing both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

The finding, published online July 1, 2009, in the journal Nature, suggests that schizophrenia is much more complex than previously thought, and can arise not only from both rare genetic variants but also from a significant number of common ones.  “This is an enormous first for our field,” said co-author Patrick Sullivan, M.D., Ray M. Hayworth and Family Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry in the department of genetics at the UNC School of Medicine. “You could say that we now have the outline of the puzzle, and we just need to take all of these pieces that we have identified and see how they fit them together.”

Schizophrenia is a chronic and often devastating mental illness that affects one person in every 100 in the course of their lives. Scientists have long recognized that the disease – which can run in families –has a strong genetic component.

However, only recently have they begun to pinpoint the exact spots in our genetic material that contribute to the illness. Last year, the International Schizophrenia Consortium found that rare chromosomal structural variants elevate the risk of developing schizophrenia.

In this study, Sullivan and other investigators in the Consortium used “genechip” technology to identify 30,000 genetic variants (single nucleotide polymorphisms or “SNPs”) that were more common in 3,000 individuals with schizophrenia than in 3,000 comparison subjects without schizophrenia.

This pattern was found in three separate samples of individuals with schizophrenia and two samples with bipolar disorder – indicating a previously unrecognized overlap between the two diseases. These risk variants were not present in patients with other non-psychiatric diseases, such as hypertension or diabetes.

Read entire article at http://psychcentral.com/news/2009/07/02/genetic-combo-influences-schizophrenia-and-bipolar/6865.html

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FDA OKs Schering-Plough Drug for Schizophrenia, Bipolar

September 2nd, 2009 John Comments off

From: The Wall Street Journal

By TESS STYNES

The Food and Drug Administration gave final approval to Schering-Plough Corp.’s asenapine, a treatment for both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in adults.

The drug, which will be sold under the brand name Saphris, is expected to be available in the U.S. in the fourth quarter.

The company said it is the first psychotropic drug to receive initial approval to treat both mental disorders and is the first product from its 2007 acquisition of Organon Biosciences.

The approval comes as Schering-Plough is poised to merge with Merck & Co., after shareholders at both companies approved the deal last week.

The FDA decision was based on a clinical study involving more than 3,000 patients with acute schizophrenia or bipolar mania, with patients followed for as long as two years.

Saphris and other so-called atypical antipsychotic drugs all have “significant risks” including sedation, weight gain, and, over time, concerns about diabetes and other conditions linked to weight gain. The drugs can also cause a serious movement disorder called tardive dyskinesia.

Schizophrenia afflicts about 1% of Americans and is a major contributor to suicide. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, people with schizophrenia may hear voices other people don’t hear or they may believe that others are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts or plotting to harm them.

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is believed to affect about 1% to 3% of the U.S. population.

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