Newsletter
February II 2017
 
 
          
 
 
 

Message From Executive Director
Dear Friends: 

You’ve been waiting a long time:  The ‘Brave’ Hearing Voices of Support Times Square Flash Mob video.  Coming SOON - Watch your inbox for a message.  


We must continue our work together educating everyone that psychosis is a real illness caused by neuro-circuitry disorders in the brain.  This is an illness that no one elects to have.  We are all affected by the illnesses related to schizophrenia.  The primary person affected is the diagnosed individual – the pain of the illness and the discrimination is sometimes unbearable.  Their loved ones are sorely affected as they struggle to find effective treatments, housing for their loved one and so much more. 


Schizophrenia related brain illnesses are treatable, but more than 50% of the time a person is not treated/effective treatment is not found.  Finding an effective treatment takes much too long.  Research is focusing on causes and the specific areas of the brain that are affected so precise treatment for an individual will be available in a timely manner; then people can find relief and have the opportunity to pursue their goals in life. 


If you are considering participating in a research study, here is some information that might interest you:


What is a clinical research study?

A clinical research study is often called a clinical trial or a protocol. All are scientific studies in which people participate in the research. Clinical research has many goals such as developing new treatments, identifying causes of illnesses, studying trends, or evaluating ways genetics may be related to an illness. Some types of research studies do not require changes to current mental health treatment.


Why participate in a research study?

People participate in research for many reasons. Some hope to get the most advanced treatment available, while others want to help with scientific discovery. Research is our best hope for understanding and treating mental illnesses. Thanks to volunteers, researchers are learning more about the causes of mental disorders, and are finding new ways to treat and prevent illnesses.


What types of research studies are being conducted?

Non-Treatment Studies

Detailed screenings and evaluations, computer tasks, neuropsychological testing, brain imaging, epidemiological and longitudinal studies are all examples of non-treatment studies.


Treatment Studies

These studies test the effectiveness of standard or experimental drugs, procedures, or interventions. Some compare different treatments, while others compare a treatment to a placebo. In some cases, after study completion participants receive short-term follow-up care while transitioning back to the community.


Genetic Studies

These identify how genes may relate to mental disorders and may include donating a blood or tissue sample.


Family Studies

These are studies that aim to discover patterns of disorders among families, and may include brain imaging or genetic studies.


Brain Imaging Studies

These may involve PET, MRI, fMRI, MRS, or MEG brain scans.


Who can participate in research?

Each clinical research study has different requirements that determine whether an adult or child can participate. These requirements are called “inclusion” and “exclusion” criteria. The criteria are used to help researchers identify appropriate study participants. Potential participants are interviewed by phone and/or in person to determine if they meet eligibility criteria. For child participants, parental permission is required.


What is the time commitment?

Time commitment varies with each study. Some studies take one or more hours during a day-visit, while other studies vary from one overnight stay in the hospital to a week or several months. Some other studies can be done by phone or at home.


What are participants’ rights?

Before you enroll in a study, all volunteers are given the details of the study, including risks and benefits, during an informed consent process. As a safeguard to protect participants’ rights and answer questions, the Office of the Clinical Director also has a team of clinicians who monitor the research participation of some volunteers. All participants have the right to withdraw from research at any time.


Is there compensation?

Compensation is available for some studies. Travel and transportation may be reimbursed for participants in some studies.


With sincerest Gratitude,
Linda Stalters, MSN
Executive Director
Schizophrenia And Related Disorders Alliance of America
 
 
 
 
 
John has schizophrenia in his family, so he is very aware of the impact it can have on lives. He is committed to helping to assist with recovery and combat stigma. On the board of SARDAA, he is the Chief Operating Officer at Team Work Ready, Inc., a medical rehabilitation clinic that specializes in physical rehabilitation for federal, and state workers. 

 
 
 
 
Morgan’s son has schizophrenia, which first became apparent after a drug-induced psychotic episode when his son smoked marijuana. Morgan speaks of looking after yourself so you can look after your child – spending time together and not giving up is important, and so is having common interests. Morgan and his son are both foodies and enjoy sports.
 
 
 
 
 
We are now accepting messages from SA Members to include in the newsletter.  Please submit your message to: info@sardaa.org  or mail to SARDAA PO Box 941222, Houston, TX 77094-8222 for consideration for next month's newsletter.

Your story might be included in a SARDAA newsletter and might be published in a future edition of the SA Blue Book. 
 
 
 
 
 
   Phone Support Groups

SA Conference Call Groups
Only for individuals diagnosed
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Mondays - 4 pm Eastern Time
Thursdays - 7 pm Eastern Time
Fridays - 7 pm Eastern Time

Spirit of SA Conference Call
For SA Leaders and Potential Leaders
First Wednesday of Each Month - 7 pm Eastern Time

Family and Friends Support Group
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Toll-free Calls
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Facebook Support Group
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This is a Closed group, ask to be added.  
 
 
 
 
 
*** HOW TO START AND GROW A SA GROUP ***
By Margery Wakefield

Welcome to SA (Schizophrenics Alliance)!  I understand that you want to start an SA group, and that is great!   READ MORE
 
 
 
 
Help for people with Schizophrenia and Related Disorders. 
 
 
 
Now it is easy to record details and specifics about symptoms, medication, moods, and more. Choose what you want to track, and see all the information you need to help you or your loved one who is living with schizophrenia and related disorders.

Get the Schizophrenia Health Storylines™ Mobile App Today! The mobile app is FREE for all users on iOS and Android devices. There is also a web version available, accessible through the browser of any desktop computer or mobile device.
 
 
 
 
What are you doing for your self-care today? With your feedback, Schizophrenia Health Storylines introduces two new health tools to help you track your self-care and physical activities. Self-care goes beyond the pill and we want to make sure your tools reflect that. With the new and improved tools, you will be able to:  

  • Reflect holistically on your self-care activities with the Self-Care Reflection Tool
  • Track the intensity of your physical activity with the Physical Activity Tracker
 
 
 
 
 
COMPUTATIONAL NEUROSCIENCE: Deciphering the Complex Brain
Joshua Gordon, NIMH
I wrote in my welcome message about my priorities.  First, we need to fund excellent science.  Second, we should support studies that will yield benefits on short, medium, and long-term timescales.
                                                    READ MORE
NIMH Studies
The National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking healthy volunteers to participate in a research study: Brain Imaging of Childhood Onset Psychiatric Disorders, Endocrine Disorders and Healthy Volunteers.
                                                    READ MORE

Children With Autism Acquired More Health Services Following Implementation of Parity Law  
The following article might have implications for schizophrenia spectrum disorders if they, like ASD, are reclassified as neurological disorders, says Linda Stalters of Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America (SARDAA).

FROM NIMH: SLEEP MAY TRIM NEURAL CONNECTIONS TO RESTORE LEARNING ABILITY; MOUSE STUDIES SUPPORT HOMEOSTASIS THEORY
Why do we sleep? Companion studies in mice by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) grantees add to evidence that sleep may be the price we pay for the ability to learn. The results suggest that sleep streamlines neural connections, or synapses, making them more efficient. It likely restores homeostatic balance to energy resources spent by learning during wakefulness, say the researchers. This is accomplished by the downsizing and weakening of unneeded connections –a selective forgetting, so to speak. A team at the University of Wisconsin found that 80 percent of cortex synapses sampled shrunk by nearly 20 percent during sleep. Another team at the Johns Hopkins University found that key cell surface receptor proteins in those synapses similarly plummet during sleep – and identified the underlying molecular mechanisms. All this makes room for new learning, according to the synaptic homeostasis hypothesis proposed by the researchers.

REVEALED: LSD DOCKED IN ITS HUMAN BRAIN TARGET; MOLECULAR STRUCTURE MAY HOLD CLUES TO DESIGN OF NEW THERAPEUTICS
LSD’s chemical diagram has long been a counterculture icon, but exactly how that structure works in the brain to achieve the drug’s potent mind-altering effects has remained a mystery. Now, an NIMH grantee has discovered the key pieces of the puzzle – unveiling the molecular structure of LSD interacting with its target protein in the human brain, a receptor for the chemical messenger serotonin. The findings are providing the first structure-informed insights into the molecular mechanisms of a hallucinogen.

COOL VIDEOS: STARRING THE WIRING DIAGRAM OF THE HUMAN BRAIN
NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins describes how tractography is helping scientists get a better picture of the human brain.

VIDEO LECTURE: TOWARDS PSYCHOBIOTICS: THE MICROBIOME AS A KEY REGULATOR OF BRAIN AND BEHAVIOR
The learning objectives of this lecture in the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health’s online continuing education series include learning about the concept of a gut-brain axis and how it could be involved in modulating behavior and the brain; listing some factors that can modify the microbiome in early life; defining probiotics and addressing whether they have been proven to have benefits in people; and describing the concept of “psychobiotics” and some early evidence on use of this approach in the context of psychological symptoms and disorders. Participants can earn continuing medical education credits.

EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT VISITS RELATED TO SUICIDAL IDEATION, 2006-2013
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project has released a statistical brief on emergency department (ED) visits related to suicidal ideation based on national data from 2006 to 2013. It found that the rate of ED visits related to suicidal ideation among adults aged 18 and older increased by 12 percent on average annually between 2006 and 2013.

IN BRIEF: CHRONIC SUBSTANCE USE AND COGNITIVE EFFECTS ON THE BRAIN: AN INTRODUCTION
This resource provides information for clinicians who may encounter clients with cognitive deficits related to chronic substance use disorder. It highlights ways in which chronic substance use may affect the brain.                                                               

MENTAL HEALTH COURT CURRICULUM
With Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) support, the Council of State Governments Justice Center has launched Developing a Mental Health Court: An Interdisciplinary Curriculum, a free, online multimedia resource with the information needed to plan, implement, sustain, or simply learn about mental health courts based on research and best practices from the field.

The goal of the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP) is to improve responses to and outcomes for individuals with mental illnesses or co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders who come into contact with the justice system. The program supports early intervention and diversion for multi-system-involved individuals; cross-training for justice and treatment professionals; and improved communication, collaboration, and coordination of support services between justice professionals and treatment and related service providers as well as government partners. For fiscal year (FY) 2017, BJA revised the goals of JMHCP to move away from facilitating small-scale programming (e.g., pilots) to providing support for system-wide improvements in policies and practices at the local and state levels.

WEBINAR: KEEPING A MILLION HEARTS BEATING: HOW INTEGRATED CARE CAN REDUCE HEART DISEASE
February 28, 2017, 1:00 pm ET
Heart disease continues to be the top cause of death among Americans, with one of every four Americans dying from heart-related problems, including heart attack and stroke. And, people with mental illness are nearly twice as likely to die from chronic health conditions, including heart disease, than the general population. The HHS Million Hearts initiative was created to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. Join this SAMHSA-Health Resources and Services Administration Center for Integrated Health Services webinar to learn what’s next for Million Hearts and how health care providers, including integrated primary and behavioral health care providers, have used Million Hearts’ blood pressure protocols to improve the health of the people they serve.

COMMENTS SOUGHT FOR AHRQ EFFECTIVE HEALTH CARE PROGRAM REPORT
The AHRQ’s Effective Health Care Program encourages the public to participate in the development of its research projects. The Program uses these comments to help focus its research and ensure that the final comparative effectiveness reviews answer the most important questions that clinicians, patients, consumers, and policymakers have about a given treatment, test, or procedure. The Program is currently seeking comments for:
Treatments for Adults with Schizophrenia: A Systematic Review (Comments Accepted through March 8, 2017)

THE ALL OF US RESEARCH PROGRAM SEEKS FEEDBACK FROM THE COMMUNITY
The All of Us Research Program (formerly known as the Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Program) will create a community of one million or more people from across the U.S. to improve the future of health. Those who join the program will contribute their health, environment, and lifestyle information over an extended period of time. By gathering information from such a large group of people, researchers will be able to learn how specific factors impact an individual’s health, and disease prevention and treatment. This approach to tailoring health care for each unique individual is called "precision medicine." The research program developers want to hear from everyone about their thoughts and ideas for how to make All of Us a success. Ideas on topics such as participant engagement and communications, health information data security, and the type of data to be collected are welcome from researchers, health care providers, patients, or anyone who wants to contribute to greater knowledge. 

FEDERAL JUDGE SCOLDS STATE FOR TREATMENT OF MENTALLY ILL
A federal judge has blasted the Washington state agency responsible for providing competency services to mentally ill people in jail, saying the agency doesn’t appear to understand that these individuals “have constitutional rights that are being violated.”

APPEALS COURT OVERTURNS FLORIDA'S PHYSICIAN 'GUN-BAG' LAW
In a decision that may be contested in the Supreme Court, a federal appeals court in Atlanta, Georgia, today overturned a Florida law that prohibits physicians from asking patients if they own a gun unless the question is medically relevant.

TWITTERING ON ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH: IS IT WORTH THE EFFORT?
The medical community disseminates information increasingly using social media. Randomised controlled trials are being conducted in this area to evaluate effectiveness of social media with mixed results so far, but more trials are likely to be published in the coming years.
                                                             READ MORE

SCHIZOPHRENIA LINKED TO INCREASED BREAST CANCER RISK
Women with schizophrenia have nearly a twofold increased risk for breast cancer compared to their counterparts without schizophrenia, new research suggests.  "Given that breast cancer is more prevalent in women with schizophrenia than in the general population, our study highlights the importance of adequate cancer screening in this population," senior author Chia Hung Kao, MD, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan, told Medscape Medical News.

SCOURING THE BRAIN FOR CLUES TO NEW TREATMENTS FOR MENTAL ILLNESS
Katie first spoke with a demon when she was 14.  He perched on the edge of her bed, and would persistently urge her to do bad things - like blow up her Arkansas high school.
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Donate to SARDAA
 
 
 
Brain Campaign:
Take the Pledge
I will change my language from Behavioral or Mental disorder to Brain disorder.
I will educate others to change their language from mental illnesses to brain illness.
I will not use stigmatizing, discriminatory or derogatory language related to brain disorders.
I will encourage my peers, family members, and colleagues to advocate when they see discriminatory language or practices in the media or in public.
I will advocate that people with brain disorders have equal and comprehensive health care.
I will treat all people with brain disorders with respect and compassion.
 
 
 
 
 
Please take a moment to find out how you can help support SARDAA, not only today but every day - at no extra cost to you!!

When you do your shopping at AmazonSmile, Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to Schizophrenia And Related Disorders Alliance Of America.


IT'S SO SIMPLE: just bookmark this link http://smile.amazon.com/ch/33-1213657, start shopping and support us every time you shop.

 
 
 
 
 
Texas and Louisiana Friends: 
Re-Enroll Your Kroger Plus Cards
 
 
 
 
You can support SARDAA without spending a penny! Register Schizophrenia and Related Disorders on your Kroger Plus Card and they will donate a percentage to SARDAA each time you use your card.

Please register online at www.krogercommunityrewards.com

Link to: Schizophrenia and Related Disorders–Kroger Plus Card 90425

 
 
 
 

Help Change Lives -- Donate Now


Thank you to those who already made a donation - Every contribution makes a difference.

 
 
        
 
 
 

Sincerely,

Angel White, Editor
 
 
 
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