Resistant Schizophrenia: Brain Imaging Provides Insight

A comprehensive review of brain imaging studies provides support for the two main hypotheses regarding the neurobiology of treatment-resistant schizophrenia, namely, “whether treatment- resistant schizophrenia is best understood as a more severe form of responsive schizophrenia or whether it has a fundamentally different pathophysiology,” Robert McCutcheon, MBBS, MRCPsych, told Medscape Medical News.

“Our review shows some support for both of these hypotheses. On some measures, such as gray matter reductions, resistant patients do appear to show more severe abnormalities compared to responsive patients. On other measures examining neurochemical functioning, however, it seems that there can be quite different processes operating in responsive and resistant patients,” Dr McCutcheon explained.

To read the article further, please click here to visit the Medscape website.

Premature Birth Tied to Adult Psychopathology

Adults who were born very prematurely have an increased risk for interpersonal and behavioral problems that significantly correlate with brain imaging evidence. Investigators at King’s College London, in the United Kingdom, found that 30­ year­olds who were born very preterm, defined by the World Health Organization as birth at 28 to <32 weeks’ gestation, have interpersonal and behavioral problems that are significantly negatively associated with corticostriatal tract volume in the brain.

To read more, please click here to visit the Medscape site.

Legalized Cannabis and the Brain: NIDA Sounds the Alarm ­

Researchers at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) are sounding the alarm over a possible increase in unknown cognitive and behavioral harms that widespread cannabis use may unmask. A clinical review conducted by NIDA director Nora Volkow, MD, points out that as legalization of the drug for recreational and medical use spreads, vulnerable populations, especially adolescents, are exposed to toxic effects of the drug. “This is not a problem that is specific to marijuana,” Dr Volkow told Medscape Medical News. “Young brains and drugs shouldn’t mix. Period.”

To read more, please click here to visit the Medscape site.

How Diet Influences Mental Health: New Findings, New Advances

In an interview for Brain Food, a monthly column for Medscape, Emily Deans, MD and Drew Ramsey, MD talk about diet, lifestyle, and mental health.

To view on Medscape website, please click here.

To read the interview, please click here to download the PDF.

Message From Family and Friends Coordinator Mary Ross

Throughout days I find myself in search of answers…wisdom, trying to understand life’s adversities. My concerns, and those of SARDAA ‘Families and Friends’ as I hear from others in our weekly support calls, have led me to the words of psychiatrist Dr. Viktor E. Frankl as a real source of inspiration. For me personally this involves experiencing saddness as the parent of a daughter having a brain disorder, and accepting the loss of potential, to a degree, which a parent naturally feels for a child’s happiness and life. Through Dr. Frankl’s ability to find meaning in the midst of extreme suffering of his, and his family, they being prisoners for years, during the Holocaust, I find hope in knowing his beliefs which he wrote in ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’. Some that I relate to and find helpful follow:

“ When we are no longer able to change a situation we are challenged to change ourselves”.

“People are primarily driven by a striving to find meaning in one’s life, and it is the sense of meaning that enables people to overcome (or cope with) painful experiences”.

“Even in the most absurd, painful and dehumanized situations, life has potential meaning, and therefore even suffering is meaningful”.

“What is to give light must endure burning”.

With heart,

Mary Ross, FFS Coordinator

Message by Antoinette (Toni) Hook


Life is like a whisper in the wind.
The fall gone and winter is on its way
As the days grow short and the wind is strong,
The snow will melt, and spring is on its way.
Like a whisper in the wind.
The spring will bring flowers.
And summer will be upon us.
Our life goes on like a whisper in the wind.
One day we are twenty, and the next fifty.
We may count our blessings, for one day
Are life will be a whisper in the wind.
Larry A Opines:
It has long bothered families and sufferers alike that the psychiatric community and DSM diagnostic guidebooks label the symptoms of schizophrenia, etc. as either “Positive,” meaning symptoms that are classified by their presence that are there in sufferers but not in chronically normal persons: hallucinations and delusions… or “Negative,” meaning symptoms that are classified by their absence: they are Not there in sufferers but Are there in chronically normal persons: lack of pleasure (“anhedonia”), poverty of speech (“alogia”) and lack of motivation (“amotivation”).

To the sufferers and to their loved ones, there is nothing “positive” about anhedonia or hallucinations, alogia or delusions… none of it.  And they feel dissed by the professionals who label symptoms in this way.

This writer is a clinically trained poet; I studied chemical dependency counseling on the graduate level for two and a half years.  I have written a couple thousand haiku.  I suffer from psychiatric challenges, working daily to transcend all the above.

It seems to me we need a new, more accurate & inclusive nomenclature when describing symptoms to sufferers and their loved ones.  They have already suffered enough.

I suggest we change our tongue out of reverence toward the suffering population; these are after all the people we are pledged to help… aren’t they?  Here is my suggestion: call the delusion and hallucination symptoms, those that are added to the experience of the world in sufferers: “additual symptoms” or “plus one… two… three… symptoms” and call the alogia, amotivational and anhedonia symptoms that are subtracted from the experience of the world of sufferers: “subtractual symptoms” or “minus one… two… three… symptoms.”

This linguistic effort would help heal the breach that currently exists between sufferers, their loved ones and mental health professionals.

Someday we might begin to see a world where what are now classed as “symptoms” might be viewed as “creative challenges” and channeled into paths that nourish persons rather than denigrate them into a marginalized existence.

In the Hippocratic Oath, is there not the phrase, “Do no harm?”

‘Nuff said.

Conference Call with Pete Earley


To anyone who missed the conference call with Pete Earley, you can hear it there is a recording of it at  fast forward to 2:30 minute
You can also listen on phone by calling 712 775 7029 and entering Code 715149 followed by “#” To listen to the most recent recording, which is Pete Earley, press “#” again. DJ apologized that Q&A did not work like it was supposed to, there was a tech issue.
Lessons I’ve Learned: The Key To Recovery Is Engagement by Pete Earley

Message From SA Administrator Brian Donahue

Brian Donahue

I shall start with a question:  If April showers bring  May flowers, what do Mayflowers bring?  The answer is:  Pilgrims—Ha, ha!  For us the month of May is Mental Health Awareness month.  SA is holding an all-day Workshop in Livonia, Michigan at the Livonia Embassy Suites on Saturday, May 21, 2016.   The third week in May is Schizophrenia Awareness Week, what will you do to recognize the week?

The Workshop will cover every aspect of Schizophrenics Anonymous (SA).  We will begin with the philosophy and purpose of SA; an explanation of the six steps of recovery; and how to avoid leader burnout.  There will be much more including an actual SA group meeting.  There will be a breakout for Families and Friends, as well.  There is a $5.00 charge to secure a count for lunch; if you cannot afford this charge scholarships are available.  To reserve your spot at the Workshop, and for us to know how many lunches we need, please call Angel at:  1-240-423-9432.  You can also email Angel at:

As for Mental Health Month; let’s get involved.  Attend a SA group meeting in your area.  If there is no group in your area, consider starting one.  We still hold our telephone conference calls on Thursday, Friday, and Sunday nights at 7 PM Eastern time.   These calls have attracted so many callers that we are looking for someone to volunteer as a phone call leader for a new call at a new time.  If you are interested please email me, Brian Donahue, at:

We hope to see you in Michigan in May.  Get involved!!!

Message From Executive Director

Beautiful things are happening!

SARDAA has launched The BRAIN Campaign and The White House is listening.

12 million Americans live with a schizophrenia-related  brain illness.  Tragically 50% do not receive treatment, tragically instead they are punished/incarcerated, ostracized without treatment, left to suffer homelessly or perhaps die by suicide.  Until the community (judicial, legislative, medical, lay public and criminal justice) recognize BRAIN illnesses like other physiological illnesses are treatable; until there is no shame to be treated for an illness of the brain, people will continue to be the victims of discrimination, mistreatment, violence and without treatment.   The BRAIN campaign is an effort to replace the word “mental” and “behavior” illness/health with “brain”. This will impact parity, resources, and empathy.  We do not call pulmonary disease cough disease.  People think if it’s behavior – just change the behavior; if it’s “mental” illness – it’s your choice to think that way.   People simply vow to call schizophrenia a brain illness thus become a BRAIN Health Advocate.

Please join us and share the link to the BRAIN Campaign and also help us be selected for theScattergood Award.


With sincere gratitude for your continued support,

Linda Stalters, MSN

Executive Director


Study findings from Schizophrenia Bulletin

According to a study in Schizophrenia Bulletin, approximately 1 in 13 people worldwide will have at least one psychotic experience by the time he or she reaches the age of 75. For most, the first experience will occur in adolescence or young adulthood, but the report suggests that nearly a quarter will have their first experience after they reach 40. The findings may help to advance the understanding of how psychotic experiences unfold across the lifespan and interact with mental disorders.