XML Feed for RxPG News   Add RxPG News Headlines to My Yahoo!   Javascript Syndication for RxPG News

Research Health World General
 
  Home
 
 Latest Research
 Cancer
 Psychiatry
  Depression
  Neuropsychiatry
  Personality Disorders
  Bulimia
  Anxiety
  Substance Abuse
  Suicide
  CFS
  Psychoses
   Bipolar Disorder
   Schizophrenia
  Child Psychiatry
  Learning-Disabilities
  Psychology
  Forensic Psychiatry
  Mood Disorders
  Sleep Disorders
  Peri-Natal Psychiatry
  Psychotherapy
  Anorexia Nervosa
 Genetics
 Surgery
 Aging
 Ophthalmology
 Gynaecology
 Neurosciences
 Pharmacology
 Cardiology
 Obstetrics
 Infectious Diseases
 Respiratory Medicine
 Pathology
 Endocrinology
 Immunology
 Nephrology
 Gastroenterology
 Biotechnology
 Radiology
 Dermatology
 Microbiology
 Haematology
 Dental
 ENT
 Environment
 Embryology
 Orthopedics
 Metabolism
 Anaethesia
 Paediatrics
 Public Health
 Urology
 Musculoskeletal
 Clinical Trials
 Physiology
 Biochemistry
 Cytology
 Traumatology
 Rheumatology
 
 Medical News
 Health
 Opinion
 Healthcare
 Professionals
 Launch
 Awards & Prizes
 
 Careers
 Medical
 Nursing
 Dental
 
 Special Topics
 Euthanasia
 Ethics
 Evolution
 Odd Medical News
 Feature
 
 World News
 Tsunami
 Epidemics
 Climate
 Business
Search

Last Updated: Aug 22nd, 2006 - 20:18:02

Schizophrenia Channel
subscribe to Schizophrenia newsletter

Latest Research : Psychiatry : Psychoses : Schizophrenia

   DISCUSS   |   EMAIL   |   PRINT
Study aims to identify schizophrenics at risk for type 2 diabetes
Aug 22, 2006, 20:16, Reviewed by: Dr. Priya Saxena

The bottom line of the study of newly diagnosed schizophrenics is to see whether the disease itself carries an increased risk of diabetes.

 
Dissecting the relationship between schizophrenia and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes has physician-scientists reaching across the Atlantic Ocean.

They are looking at newly diagnosed schizophrenics in an upper-middle-class Spanish community to find whether the disease that causes patients to hear voices and smell, feel and even taste unreal objects also increases their risk of diabetes.

Scientists know the drugs that best control the psychosis increase the risk. “We know it’s the medicine; I’m asking whether it’s the disease as well,” says Dr. Brian Kirkpatrick, vice chair of the Medical College of Georgia Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior and principal investigator on the National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases-funded study.

Dr. Kirkpatrick and colleagues at Hospital Clinic at the University of Barcelona in Spain and the University of Maryland note mounting evidence that developmental problems, resulting from significant maternal stress in the second or early third trimester of pregnancy, may cause schizophrenia and related problems.

“The brain has this incredibly complex development where cells are born here and march over here and send communication over here; that goes wrong from the very beginning probably,” says Dr. Kirkpatrick of the complex process of laying down normal communication pathways that apparently go awry in about 1 percent of people.

“It’s kind of a subtle going wrong in the sense that if you look at the brain under a microscope, at first blush, it looks pretty normal, and on MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), it looks pretty normal, but there are subtle differences,” he says, and not just in the brain.

Patients can have memory and attention problems, wide palates and subtle abnormalities of their fingertips, ear shape and peripheral nerves in their muscles. Psychotic symptoms typically start in late adolescence or early adulthood. “Although psychosis is what we often treat and what tends to be noticeable and dramatic and bring people to medical attention, it’s just part of the problem,” says Dr. Kirkpatrick.

Researchers believe developmental changes also do something that increases the risk of diabetes. Doctors who treat schizophrenics say they see a lot of it. Relative diabetes risk depends on factors including age and which medications patients take, Dr. Kirkpatrick says. One recent study – based on data from the Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness Schizophrenia Trial – showed the prevalence rate of metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors that include abdominal obesity, high lipid and cholesterol blood levels and insulin resistance, is better than 50 percent in women and about 37 percent in men with schizophrenia.

Dr. Kirkpatrick has a chart of weight gain based on drugs used to treat the psychosis that resembles a stairway to disaster. Patients on olanzapine and clozapine, two of the most effective anti-psychotics, gained about 10 pounds within a few weeks. While weight gain is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes, previous studies have shown the disease also can appear in schizophrenics shortly after they begin treatment and without weight gain.

Studies predating anti-psychotics also have shown schizophrenics have an increased rate of impaired glucose tolerance or insulin resistance, a hallmark of diabetes. “It’s not 100 percent, it just changes your risk; bad things in utero increase the risk of diabetes and … the risk of schizophrenia. It may be they are going to be associated because the same bad things cause both,” says Dr. Kirkpatrick.

The bottom line of the study of newly diagnosed schizophrenics is to see whether the disease itself carries an increased risk of diabetes. Researchers are comparing glucose tolerance in these patients to that of healthy people as well as those with untreated depression and those with a recent major crisis. One reason for comparison is that three of the groups should have increased levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that can mimic diabetes by increasing insulin resistance.

Patient enrollment began in 2005 and researchers hope to enroll 82 people in each arm of the study. After initial testing, schizophrenics will receive olanzapine and be followed. Researchers hope to glean measures clinicians can easily use to predict development of insulin resistance with anti-psychotic treatment. Greater insulin resistance prior to treatment may be the measure, Dr. Kirkpatrick says.

The study’s catchment area, the Esquerra Eixample neighborhood in Barcelona, was selected because it has a fairly homogenous population and psychiatric researchers can study patients early in the illness. In this case, the Hospital Clinic of the University of Barcelona where most people go, offers the best psychiatric care in the nation, Dr. Kirkpatrick says.

“We want to better understand the totality of schizophrenia and we want to increase the risk-benefit ratio of treatment,” says Dr. Kirkpatrick. “If you come in and I know you are at high risk of diabetes, I am going to suggest that you try one of the medications that has the reduced risk of also causing diabetes.”
 

- Medical College of Georgia
 

www.mcg.edu

 
Subscribe to Schizophrenia Newsletter
E-mail Address:

 

Written by Toni Baker

Related Schizophrenia News

Study aims to identify schizophrenics at risk for type 2 diabetes
Effects of ketamine mimic only some of the symptoms of schizophrenia
Association between famine and schizophrenia may yield clues about genetic basis
Neuropeptide S (NPS) may help in treating schizophrenia
Neuropeptide S (NPS) may help in treating schizophrenia
NMDA receptor hypofunction demonstrated in schizophrenia
Altered NRG1-erbB4 signaling may contribute to NMDA receptor hypofunction in schizophrenia
Transcription factor Elk-1's role in neurodegeneration and schizophrenia
Schizophrenia limits one's ability to perceive body language
Hospitalized schizophrenics are at a higher risk for developing medical/surgical complications


For any corrections of factual information, to contact the editors or to send any medical news or health news press releases, use feedback form

Top of Page

 

© Copyright 2004 onwards by RxPG Medical Solutions Private Limited
Contact Us