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A Beautiful Find…Study Finds Fish Oil May Prevent Onset of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia When we read about the latest in health news, it’s generally assumed that it somehow relates to our physical health.  But as important as our physical health is, so too is our mental health.Schizophrenia is a disease most of us don’t pay a lot of attention to. In fact, for many of us, watching the film A Beautiful Mind was the first time we had any idea of what it was or how it impacted those who suffer from it. Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that’s characterized by hallucinations, delusions or hallucinations. To the sufferer of schizophrenia, these observances are quite real and the
degree to which the sufferer responds to them varies. That said, the impact of schizophrenia on every day life also varies; some are able to function in every day life despite the disease, while others must receive intensive in-patient treatment from trained professionals.

While the number of Americans that suffer from schizophrenia is low (approximately 2.2 million), a comparison to other common illnesses demonstrates its significant prevalence.  For example, according to the British Columbia Schizophrenia Society, there are two times as many people with schizophrenia as there are with Alzheimer’s disease; five times as many as those with multiple sclerosis; six times as many as those with Type-1 diabetes; and 60 times as many as those with muscular dystrophy. 

Despite its prevalence schizophrenia is a highly treatable disease.  Some analysts are so optimistic by the success rate of those treated that estimates point to 2013 as the year of the cure for schizophrenia.  In the meantime, those with the disease spend their lives taking anti-psychotic medications and therapy—certainly no way to live.  Research out of the Oxygen Research Center in Melbourne, Australia, however, may put schizophrenia sufferers on the fast track to wellness.

The miracle worker appears to be fish oil—a supplement with well-documented health benefits.  The researchers focused on a randomized sample of 81 at-risk suffers of schizophrenia.  After splitting the patients into two groups, the researchers gave one group a placebo and the other group a capsule containing 1.5 grams of fish oil to be taken daily.  One year later, 28 percent of those in the placebo grouped had developed schizophrenia.  The group that supplemented with the fish oil?  Only 5 percent developed the psychosis!

The significance of this finding is buttressed by the fact that the 81 at-risk suffers were all between the ages of 15 to 25—the age range where most people develop the disease. 

Though researchers say that the success rate of fish oil may have been due to the fact that warning signs were in the early stages—a key aspect to the successful treatment of schizophrenia—it’s a finding that bodes well for future research.  In fact, similar studies are scheduled to be performed in nine other Oxygen Research Centers across the globe. 

Millions of families watch their loved ones suffer from this devastating disease, largely helpless.  Findings like these, at the very least, provide some hope for a future cure—perhaps before 2013.

Related Posts

  1. Omega-3 Fish Oils Greatly Reduce the Risk of Three Major Diseases, Study Finds
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  3. Can Omega-3 Fatty Acids Prevent Alzheimer’s?
  4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids Cut Colorectal Cancer Risk in Men, Study Finds
  5. Zinc Supplementation Reduces Death Risk in Children, Study Finds
  


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