Annual Donnelly Walk: October 18th

NAMI Board President Ann Donnelly and her husband, Michael, are sponsoring their annual NAMI SW WA fundraiser on October 18th. Please bring your friends and family to the event that begins at 7:30 AM, rain or shine. Enjoy a walk, run or bike ride around lovely Vancouver Heights before taking part in a delicious breakfast pre-pared by the Donnelly’s with help from other NAMI members. Maps of the area will be provided, and the fall colors should be quite nice! Along with your bike walking/running shoes, and possibly rain gear, please bring your checkbook or cash.

We’re asking for a minimum donation of $25 per person. We will gratefully accept much larger donations, of course, and hope that many of you will be able to provide larger amounts. All of our services are at no cost to the public, however each class, support group, newsletter, or other event is an expense. We can’t do what the community wants and needs us to do without your support. Thanks so much, and we look forward to seeing all of you and your neighbors and friends at 4305 Oregon Drive, Vancouver 98661 on October 18th!

Schizophrenia Revealed To Be 8 Genetically Distinct Disorders

Just over 1 percent of the American population has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, a severe mental disorder. Basically, people with schizophrenia may hear voices they may believe that other people are reading their minds or controlling their thoughts. Individuals with schizophrenia may not make sense when they speak, or they may sit for hours without moving or talking. Many have a difficult time holding jobs or caring for themselves. However, with the proper treatment and coping skills, many people with schizophrenia can lead rewarding and meaningful lives.

A new study has revealed that schizophrenia is not one disease but eight disorders with genetically distinct causes. This could dramatically change how schizophrenia is diagnosed and treated. This research was led by C. Robert Cloninger of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the results were published in September in The American Journal of Psychiatry.

Scientists were able to sort the schizophrenic patients by symptom type and severity and compare clusters of their genes. They found that it wasn’t one or even a small handful of genes acting independently to cause one disorder, but it was a total of 42 genetic clusters working together that were responsible for bringing out the symptoms for 8 separate disorders “Genes don’t operate by themselves. They function in concert much like an orchestra, and to understand how they’re working, you have to know not just who the members of the orchestra are but how they interact,” Cloninger said in a press release. “What we’ve done here, after a decade of frustration in the field of psychiatric genetics, is identify the way genes interact with each other, how the ‘orchestra’ is either harmonious and leads to health, or disorganized in ways that lead to distinct classes of schizophrenia.”

Not everyone with schizophrenia exhibits all possible symptoms, and therefore wouldn’t have the same genetic markers causing the illness. Certain genetic variations were 95% accurate in predicting delusions and hallucinations, while other gene clusters were 100% accurate in estimating speech and behavior anomalies associated with schizophrenia. Though there are environmental factors such as drug use and emotional trauma that contribute to the onset of schizophrenia symptoms, the disorder is attributed to genetics about 80% of the time. This could be profoundly helpful in correctly diagnosing and treating a large number of patients who are severely suffering because of their symptoms.