Thursday, 16 August 2007

Schizophrenia lower in type 1s

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My earliest memory of schizophrenia was while reading the book Sybil in high school English class. Written by Flora Rheta Schreiber in 1973, Sybil was a pseudonym for Shirley Mason, a woman who suffered from one of the most famous cases of multiple personality disorder on record. Hearing Sybil's story of 16 separate personalities was shocking enough -- then I read Sybil's mother was schizophrenic. My sensitive teenage disposition absorbed the sadness of this family's plight like a dry sponge to water. I was deeply affected by the book.

If type 1s don't have it hard enough, past studies have shown a possible link between type 1 diabetes and increased risk of schizophrenia. But a new study published in this month's Archives of General Psychiatry shows the opposite. 896,175 subjects born between 1950 and 1959 in Finland were followed from 1969 to 1991. The incidence of schizophrenia was diagnosed less than half as often in the 5,009 subjects with type 1 compared to people without diabetes. So often you read the phrase, "type 1s at higher risk for" -- frankly, it's nice to hear type 1s are not at higher risk for this serious mental illness. Unfortunately, patients with schizophrenia do have a higher risk for type 2 diabetes. Read more in Reuters.

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