|A fair amount of interest|
Psychosis has multiple causes and is characterised by a loss of contact with reality it can range from minor hallucinations through to disorders such as schizophrenia, the symptoms are wide-ranging and diverse. .
Psychosis is a major problem for those suffering the affects and for the economy. In the UK the cost is reckoned to be something like £12 Bn per year in total including costs of lost working hours and support to sufferers.
The research being undertaken is looking at environmental and social causes.
Here's some points I noted:
Ethnic grouping suggests that immigrants are more prone to suffer, in the UK this is seen in Sub Saharan African and Afro Caribbean West Indians there are also statistically significant more women from Pakistan and Bangladesh than would be expected.
This grouping might be connected with the environmental conditions of immigrants as the numbers of Psychosis cases in their original country are similar to the UK norm, also the immigrant groups affected in other nations vary (i.e. the immigrant groups similarly affected in Italy are from different countries).
|A rapt audience listens to the speaker|
Heavy use of recreational drugs (and heavy alcohol use) can cause an increase in the incidence of psychosis.
The biggest factor appears to be inheritance.
The 'urban environment' is also a risk factor but cultural cohesion and support within the community can help reduce this risk.
Psychosis can result in reduced Life expectancy by as much as 10 years.
Various questions were asked including:
Q How is the incidence measured?
A Large data sets and deprivation indices are used as well as UK census data.
Q Is psychosis seen in animals?
A Experiments have been conducted with rates where they were living in 'tower blocks'
Q Does ethnic factor remain across successive generations?
A Difficult to tell using UK census data.
Q What additional data do we have regarding the links from cannabis and other drugs?
A THC (in some cannabis) has an effect on pathways in the brain.
Q is there a climatic factor?
A Some believe that Vitamin D deficiency can exacerbate the effect.
Q Has the incidence of psychosis increased
A it has broadly remained at the same as a percentage of the population -although as a result of changes in reporting particular 'flavours' (perhaps designed to limit stigma) the diagnostic trends may have altered.
Q does abuse increase likelihood of psychosis?
A Helen Fisher has done work around this
and for me what was very enlightening was that for those suffering from Psychosis who were hearing voices scans of brain activity showed that the same areas of the brain were active as those responding to 'real' aural stimuli.
It was good to hear from James that treatments do show some benefits to sufferers some of whom are able to return to work and near normal functionality.