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THE UNSPONSORED PSYCHIATRY REPORT

Recovery From Schizophrenia

By Erik Messamore, MD, PhD / March 13, 2019

What does recovery from schizophrenia look like? How about graduating from college and running a nonprofit organization? That’s what recovery looks like for Bethany Yeiser. After being treated with clozapine, she was able to complete her university education, write a book, and form a nonprofit organization to promote awareness of schizophrenia and its effective treatments.…

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Medical Marijuana: 19th Century-Style

By Erik Messamore, MD, PhD / March 8, 2019

Everyone knew that cannabis was medicinal in 1880. They also knew that all medicines have side effects Cannabis feels like the new wonder drug. From what I gather by reading the news, it can treat a lot of diseases. I also hear that it’s very safe – especially, I’m told, if it’s being used for medicinal…

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Eskatamine is approved for depression, but this psychiatrist is sad

By Erik Messamore, MD, PhD / March 6, 2019

Depression is a serious illness… and lethal. About 10% of people with depression will commit suicide. The FDA just approved a “new” treatment for depression. It’s called eskatamine. I am all for more options to treat depression. But the story of esktamine reminds me that our society has a serious problem in moving useful treatments…

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Natural cures for schizophrenia?

By Erik Messamore, MD, PhD / November 8, 2018

Complementary, alternative, and dietary or nutritional treatments are popular because they suggest the possibility of cure illness without the side effects (or stigma) that might come from customary treatments. Despite their popularity, the effectiveness of such treatments for mental illness has not been well-studied in the medical literature. Lots of people would be willing to…

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Keto diet for schizophrenia

By Erik Messamore, MD, PhD / November 1, 2018

A dietary solution for symptoms of psychosis? This week, I’m preparing a short lecture with the title “Complementary, alternative, and nutritional treatments for schizophrenia.” I’ll be giving this lecture to an audience of clinicians who care for people affected by schizophrenia. (more about this lecture at the end of the letter) One of the reasons…

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Psychotherapy for psychosis

By Erik Messamore, MD, PhD / October 29, 2018

Psychotherapy in Psychosis In this post, I would like to highlight an open-access article that highlights that value of psychotherapy in the treatment of psychosis. It offers valuable insights into the aspects of psychotherapy that people with psychosis found most useful in their paths from acutely symptomatic to fully recovered. The article is free for…

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Improving cognitive functioning in schizophrenia

By Erik Messamore, MD, PhD / October 19, 2018

Aerobic exercise improves cognitive functioning in schizophrenia In a comprehensive review of published research about the effects of exercise on cognitive functioning in schizophrenia, Joseph Firth and colleagues conclude that aerobic exercise offers significant benefits. The observed effects of exercise on cognition are greater in the more rigorously-designed studies or in the studies where the…

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Happiness in Schizophrenia?

By Erik Messamore, MD, PhD / June 21, 2018

Happiness: an often-overlooked goal of treatment Even though most people would point to happiness as an ultimate goal in life, psychiatry tends to limit its focus to the relief of suffering. Certainly, this has been the case with schizophrenia, where scientific and clinical attention has been directed toward trying to understand the nature of the…

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How do auditory hallucinations work?

By Erik Messamore, MD, PhD / June 7, 2018

Auditory Hallucinations This week’s report will focus on auditory hallucinations. Understanding how auditory hallucinations happen will ultimately shed light on the very important question of how the mind works. We have much to learn in pursuit of this goal. However, neuroscience has made important advances toward the needed understanding, and these are reviewed in the open-access…

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Gluten and schizophrenia

By Erik Messamore, MD, PhD / May 25, 2018

Background I’m often asked if there are any dietary solutions or recommendations for people with schizophrenia. This letter suggests that the answer – for some patients – might be ‘yes.’ We will focus here on the topic of grain-free or gluten-free diet studies in schizophrenia.     Case Reports A 29-year-old Italian woman was diagnosed…

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