This is the
VOA Special English Health Report.
who are schizophrenic sometimes hear voices or see things that are not real.
They might believe other people want to hurt them. They can become fearful and
is explained on the National Institute of Mental Health Web site as a brain
disorder that is severe and disabling. It is also chronic, meaning long term.
disorder usually appears in males in their late teens or early twenties and in
females in their twenties or thirties. Experts say it rarely appears in
children, but when it does, it generally affects them more severely than
with schizophrenia are often treated with "second-generation"
antipsychotic drugs. But do these costly newer drugs work better than older
ones that cost less? The National Institute of Mental Health recently paid for
a study by four universities in the United States. The research teams found
that the answer was no.
studied one hundred nineteen people between the ages of eight and nineteen. The
patients were observed over an eight-week period. Some received risperidone or
olanzapine, two newer drugs. Others received a first-generation antipsychotic
researchers found that all of the patients experienced about the same
improvement. But the risperidone and olanzapine caused serious weight gain.
the institute cancelled the olanzapine research because the patients who took
it gained an average of almost six kilograms. The concern was that the weight
gain could lead to diabetes.
study appeared in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
studies have shown that children born to older fathers have a higher risk of
schizophrenia as well as autism. Now, scientists are finding evidence of a
similar link for bipolar disorder. This disorder is marked by periods of
extremes in mood and behavior. It was formerly called manic depression.
study in Sweden involved more than thirteen thousand patients with bipolar
disorder. Researchers compared them to similar people of the same age and sex
who did not have the disorder.
study found that fathers fifty-five and older were one and a third times more
likely to have a bipolar child than fathers twenty to twenty-four. The
scientists say the reason could be that older sperm is more likely to cause
genetic abnormalities. The findings are in this month's Archives of General
that's the VOA Special English Health Report, written by Caty Weaver. I'm Steve