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Torrey E.F.,Stanley Medical Research Institute
Schizophrenia Bulletin | Year: 2011

Stigma against mentally ill persons is a major problem and has increased in incidence. Multiple studies have suggested that the perception of violent behavior by seriously mentally ill individuals is an important cause of stigma. It is also known that treating seriously mentally ill people decreases violent behavior. Therefore, the most effective way to decrease stigma is to make sure that patients receive adequate treatment. © 2011 The Author.


Torrey E.F.,Stanley Medical Research Institute | Yolken R.H.,Johns Hopkins University
Trends in Parasitology | Year: 2013

Waterborne outbreaks of Toxoplasma gondii have focused attention on the importance of oocysts shed in the feces of infected cats. Cat feces deposited annually into the environment in the United States total approximately 1.2 million metric tons. The annual oocyst burden measured in community surveys is 3 to 434 oocysts per square foot and is greater in areas where cats selectively defecate. Because a single oocyst can possibly cause infection, this oocyst burden represents a major potential public health problem. The proper disposal of cat litter, keeping cats indoors, reducing the feral cat population, and protecting the play areas of children might potentially reduce the oocyst burden. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Torrey E.F.,Stanley Medical Research Institute | Davis J.M.,University of Illinois at Chicago
Clinical Schizophrenia and Related Psychoses | Year: 2012

The pharmacologic treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder leaves much to be desired. Repurposed drugs, which are approved for other medical conditions, represent an underutilized therapeutic resource for patients who have not responded to other drugs. Using experience gained from a decade of repurposed drug studies by the Stanley Medical Research Institute and search of the literature, we have identified nine such drugs for which there is some evidence of efficacy for schizophrenia and/or bipolar disorder. These include: aspirin; celecoxib; estrogen/raloxifene; folate; minocycline; mirtazapine; omega-3 fatty acids; pramipexole; and, pregnenolone. The evidence of efficacy is reviewed for each drug. Because there is little or no financial incentive for pharmaceutical companies to promote such drugs, there is a paucity of definitive trials, and these drugs are less widely known than they deserve to be. Biomarker studies should also be carried out to identify subgroups of patients who do respond to these drugs.


Torrey E.F.,Stanley Medical Research Institute | Yolken R.H.,Johns Hopkins University
Schizophrenia Bulletin | Year: 2010

Although the Nazi genocide of Jews during World War II is well known, the concurrent Nazi genocide of psychiatric patients is much less widely known. An attempt was made to estimate the number of individuals with schizophrenia who were sterilized and murdered by the Nazis and to assess the effect on the subsequent prevalence and incidence of this disease. It is estimated that between 220000 and 269500 individuals with schizophrenia were sterilized or killed. This total represents between 73% and 100% of all individuals with schizophrenia living in Germany between 1939 and 1945. Postwar studies of the prevalence of schizophrenia in Germany reported low rates, as expected. However, postwar rates of the incidence of schizophrenia in Germany were unexpectedly high. The Nazi genocide of psychiatric patients was the greatest criminal act in the history of psychiatry. It was also based on what are now known to be erroneous genetic theories and had no apparent long-term effect on the subsequent incidence of schizophrenia.


Torrey E.F.,Stanley Medical Research Institute | Bartko J.J.,Stanley Medical Research Institute | Yolken R.H.,Johns Hopkins University
Schizophrenia Bulletin | Year: 2012

The failure to find genes of major effect in schizophrenia has refocused attention on nongenetic, including infectious factors. In a previous study, antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii were found to be elevated in 23 studies of schizophrenia (OR 2.73; 95% CI 2.10-3.60). The current study replicates this finding with 15 additional studies (OR 2.71; 95% CI 1.93-3.80) and compares this with other identified schizophrenia risk factors. The highest risk factors are having an affected mother (relative risks [RR] 9.31; 95% CI 7.24-11.96), father (RR 7.20; 95% CI 5.10-10.16), or sibling (RR 6.99; 95% CI 5.38-9.08) or being the offspring of immigrants from selected countries (RR 4.5; 95% CI 1.5-13.1). Intermediate risk factors, in addition to infection with T. gondii, include being an immigrant from and to selected countries (RR 2.7; 95% CI 2.3-3.2), being born in (RR 2.24; 95% CI 1.92-2.61) or raised in (RR 2.75; 95% CI 2.31-3.28) an urban area, cannabis use (OR 2.10-2.93; 95% CI 1.08-6.13), having minor physical anomalies (OR 2.23; 95% CI 1.42-3.58), or having a father 55 or older (OR 2.21-5.92; 95% CI 1.46-17.02). Low-risk factors include a history of traumatic brain injury (OR 1.65; 95% CI 1.17-2.32), sex abuse in childhood (OR 1.46; 95% CI 0.84-2.52), obstetrical complications (OR 1.29-1.38; 95% CI 1.00-1.84), having a father 45 or older (OR 1.21-1.66; 95% CI 1.09-2.01), specific genetic polymorphisms (OR 1.09-1.24; 95% CI 1.06-1.45), birth seasonality (OR 1.07-1.95; 95% CI 1.05-2.91), maternal exposure to influenza (RR 1.05; 95% CI 0.98-1.12), or prenatal stress (RR 0.98-1.00; 95% CI 0.85-1.16). © 2010 The Author.

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