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Posts Tagged "early diagnosis"

Streams of Consciousness

Can Doctors Diagnose MS from Blood?

The spine of an individual afflicted with multiple sclerosis. Courtesy of NIH via Wikimedia Commons.

I have seen the invisible arms of multiple sclerosis, a potentially devastating disease of the nervous system, touch friends, relatives and acquaintances. They perturbed the personality of a father of a close friend and left him unable to keep a job and support the family. They forced a young woman I met years ago to [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Scientists Scan Children’s Brains for Answers to Mental Illness

kid practices getting her brain scanned

In a room tucked next to the reception desk in a colorful lobby of a Park Avenue office tower, kids slide into the core of a white cylinder and practice something kids typically find quite difficult: staying still. Inside the tunnel, a child lies on her back and looks up at a television screen, watching [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Minding Our Children’s Minds

Cute girl looking concerned, pensive

One of the toughest parts of raising children is helping them leap the emotional and intellectual hurdles of life. As parents, we try to ease their pain when friends snub them. We console them when their fears keep them awake at night. We scold them when they behave badly, and counsel them after they forget [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Why Are There No Biological Tests in Psychiatry?

Part 5 of a 5-part series By Allen Frances* When the third edition of psychiatry’s manual of mental illness, the DSM-III, was published 30 years ago, there was great optimism it would soon be the willing victim of its own success, achieving a kind of planned obsolescence. Surely, the combining of a reasonably reliable system [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Psychiatrists Are About to Shift the Boundaries between Sane and Insane

We will soon find ourselves plagued by new forms of distress. No, it’s not the economy. It’s not that we are all becoming socially isolated because of Facebook (though it’s possible we are). Rather, doctors are about to redefine what it means to be mentally ill. A select clique of psychiatrists has been at work [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Crux of Schizophrenia’s Emotional and Social Deficits May Be Cognitive

Messages penned by a person with schizophrenia overlay the windows of this house

[PART 2 OF 2 BLOGS ON SCHIZOPHRENIA. PART 1.] Before he got sick, my Uncle Glenn attended MIT and earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering. For a while, he made a living designing machine languages to, for example, recognize print and convert it to Braille. At about age 25, he had his first psychotic [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Seeing Schizophrenia Before It’s Too Late

Embroidery by a person with schizophrenia

According to his two brothers, my uncle Glenn had always been a little odd. He was a quiet kid, and when he spoke—he talked at you, not to you. If he got excited, he might splay his fingers incongruously or his body would abruptly quiver. Never physically aggressive or mean, Glenn had friends—but not many. [...]

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