Schizoaffective Disorder: Latest Medical Breakthroughs

Wednesday, 20 Oct 2010 12:01 PM

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Schizoaffective disorder is characterized by psychosis. Although most of the signs and symptoms are similar to schizophrenia, the symptoms are not as pronounced. A person affected by schizoaffective disorder does not lose touch with reality like a schizophrenic does. Some schizoaffective bipolar disorder symptoms are irritability, depressed mood, hallucinations, delusion of reference, paranoia, and incoherent speech.
 
Schizoaffective disorder research has resulted in some of the latest medical breakthroughs in this area. The following information sheds light on the situation:
 
1. The September issue of "Archives of General Psychiatry," one of the JAMA/Archives journals, reports that combining medication and psychosocial treatments may benefit patients during early-stage schizophrenia. This is likely to benefit schizoaffective disorder patients as well, since the symptoms are similar. It is stated that most patients continue to experience disabling residual symptoms, impaired social functioning, and show a high rate of relapse, despite a positive response to medication. If psychosocial treatment is added to the treatment plan for such patients, the outcome is found to be better. This paves the way to include psychosocial treatment with medication for faster and more effective recovery.
 
2.The September issue of "Archives of General Psychiatry," one of the JAMA/Archives journals, reports that there is an association between urban living and psychotic disorders. Some studies found that people raised in more urbanized areas have a higher risk of developing psychotic disorders, including schizoaffective disorder. This was evaluated based on area characteristics, as opposed to individual characteristics. This research is likely to bring about useful information with respect to urban lifestyle and psychotic disorders. Changes in lifestyle can be applied as one of the treatment methods for schizoaffective bipolar disorder.
 
3.A research study led by Xiangning Chen, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Human and Molecular Genetics at Virginia Commonwealth University's School of Medicine and the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, and Kenneth S. Kendler, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Human and Molecular Genetics in VCU's School of Medicine and the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, has again reported in the September issue of the "Journal of Molecular Psychiatry," that they have identified a risk gene for schizophrenia. Although there are a number of genes that influence schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder, their effect is relatively small. The researchers have identified the gene CMYA5 as having the greatest effect and have therefore called it the risk gene. At the moment, the implications of this gene in patient care are not known. However, this breakthrough in schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder studies is sure to provide several clues into effectively treating this disorder.

References: www.medicalnewstoday.com

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