View Full Version : Schizophrenia tied to Epilepsy drug treatment

10-25-2009, 01:24 PM
Treatment For Epilepsy Is Possible Culprit For Development Of Schizophrenia (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091020161954.htm#)

"We know that early-life exposure to AEDs such as Phenobarbital triggers cell death in many brain regions associated with the onset of schizophrenia," explains Guillermo Palchik, a doctoral student in the department of pediatrics at GUMC. "This study not only suggests a relationship between the drugs and schizophrenia, but it raises important questions regarding the side effects of a widely-used class of drugs. Phenobarbital and other AEDs are not only used as a treatment for seizures but more generally in the treatment of migraines, neuropathic pain and mood disorders, among other ailments, and can be considered drugs of abuse."

I don't have an anti-vaccine or anti-medicine point of view. However it's easily possible that certain medicines have the potential to trigger seemingly unrelated illnesses. Humans have been wandering the Earth for around 250,000 years. None of our evolution took place (unless you want to count the last 30 or 40 years) in response to modern medicine.

The epilepsy story is more evidence that if a young person becomes sick the odds are strong that something went wrong. Natural selection ensures that in most cases heredity doesn't cause illness, it merely creates susceptability to some other environmental factor that does.

Here is a related story that's been floating around the news recently. A Washington Redskins Cheerleader was vaccinated against the flu and 10 days later she suffered a crippling neurological disorder. I don't believe the vaccine was responsible because to the best of my knowledge this isn't a known side effect of the modern flu vaccine. However anything is possible.

Video: Update on Washington Redskins Cheerleader (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mh5F5wP8RdU)

Scoliosis has a low concordance rate for identical twins (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17426641) which suggests that the environment is heavily involved. Is the environmental component a medicine, virus, pollution or a common chemical? The recent discovery that Scoliosis is triggered by high levels of Osteopontin (http://www.wipo.int/pctdb/en/wo.jsp?WO=2008119170&IA=CA2008000595&DISPLAY=DESC) puts us one step closer to an answer. I am more than a little bit interested in what the environmental component is because once it's discovered we can put Scoliosis in the history books.

Karen Ocker
10-25-2009, 04:37 PM
I heard a psychiatrist say that there is a statistically higher rate of schizophrenia in persons who have used marijuana This is scary indeed. Some brain changes cannot be undone.
There is also a strong genetic component.

research this one but it doesn't really belong on this forum.

10-25-2009, 09:03 PM
Karen Ocker

You are right there is a connection between Schizophrenia and marijuana use. There is still some scientific debate about how strong the link is but it's there.

The reason I post about Schizophrenia and other disorders is to provide some comfort to moms who fear they've passed a genetic disorder on to their children. Many of the common disorders that were once considered genetic are now believed to be caused by a combination of genetic susceptability and environmental damage. My hope is that general knowledge about other diseases will offer perspective and relieve some parental guilt.

The woman who cuts my hair had a sister who died of Type 1 Diabetes. Her mother believed it was a genetic disorder because other people in her family had Diabetes and no doubt she had probably seen 1,000 headlines on Diabetes and genetics. She never forgave herself for passing on a gene that killed her daughter. When my haircut lady told me this I let her know that scientists now believe that Type 1 Diabetes is triggered by the common enterovirus (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090305141639.htm). Someday a vaccine will protect children from this and other diseases. I told her to Google this and let her mom know. The woman who cut my hair was not only shocked (she thought it was genetic too) but extremely happy and eager to tell her mother.

Scientific advances not only pave the way for therapies and cures but they can also relieve a lot of self-destructive guilt.

10-26-2009, 02:08 PM
Quite a few of us are on AEDs for neuropathic pain though, so this is worrying to hear :( I've been taking Gabapentin (Neurontin) for several years now.