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Study sheds some new light on schizophrenia


Doctors and researchers in Houston and throughout the country go to tremendous efforts to understand various illnesses so that they can eventually find new ways of helping people who suffer from those conditions. Likewise, organizations and private individuals pour a great deal of time and money into helping the medical community achieve its goals. Despite these efforts, some human conditions continue to present challenges when it comes to understanding and treating them.

Schizophrenia is one such mental illness that has mystified researchers over the years. Although more than three million people in the U.S. suffer from schizophrenia, doctors have had difficulty figuring out ways to diagnose the early stages of the disease. Recently, however, a new study uncovered some interesting results pertaining to the early diagnosis of schizophrenia.

The study, which was conducted by the UNC School of Medicine in conjunction with the Renaissance Computing Institute, included roughly 300 people who experienced some characteristics of schizophrenia. Through the study, researchers found that illogical thoughts were most predictive of schizophrenia. On the other hand, the data showed that precursors to hallucinations, known as perceptual disturbances, were not necessarily indicative of schizophrenia.

One of the doctors who authored the study explained that identifying these early symptoms of schizophrenia is important. She noted that the earlier that doctors can diagnose people with the mental illness, the better their outlook becomes.

The new study is encouraging news for people in the Houston area who might be suffering from schizophrenia. Based on the results from the new study, a thorough medical evaluation might help to reveal early symptoms of schizophrenia, which could allow for better treatment options. However, people who suffer from this and other similar mental illnesses may not be able to care for themselves in the long-term, or hold down gainful employment.

Mental illnesses can completely derail a person's normal everyday life. Accordingly, patients, along with their family members, should know their options for filing mental disability claims and getting financial help through the Social Security Administration.

Source: DoctorTipster.com, "New Study Suggests Hallucinations, Alone, Do Not Predict Onset of Schizophrenia," Nov. 11, 2015

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