[Neuroscience] Re: New Scientist article: "Are child abuse and schizophrenia linked?"

John H. j_hasenkam at yahoo.com.au
Mon Jun 19 22:01:11 EST 2006


There is absolutely no doubt that early childhood plays a fundamental
role in shaping brain function later in life. The literature is full of
that stuff, just look at maternal deprivation studies. Early childhood
trauma has very significant impacts on cerebral maturation.


Environmental influences have been downplayed because it doesn't sound
scientific enough, much more scientific to rabble on about alleles and
DaD2 antagonists, though sadly most psychiatrists have overlooked the
pioneering work of Horrobin in relation to prostaglandin and second
messenger dynamics.


Going back to their childhood requires psychotherapy, and that is a bad
word these days.


Even in the article below the thesis is attacked because of fears about
downstream effects (eg. the parents did it). This really is a spurious
approach to the problem. Look for the truth first, worry about the
consequences later. Seriously, using these arguments about concerns for
blaming the parents leaves me baffled, some bloody parents should be
blamed from here to eternity!


The research does not assert that childhood abuse induces
schizophrenia, simply identifies it as one cause, so the downstream
arguments are also rather weak in that regard.


It is about time the mental health community realised that a much
broader perspective is needed to understand these issues.


Forget about "mostly linked" to anything, we are a long way from
understanding causative processes.



Peter F wrote:
> Are child abuse and schizophrenia linked?
> 10:02 18 June 2006
> NewScientist.com news service
> We know the hallmark symptoms: hallucinations, delusions and hearing
> "voices". But the causes of schizophrenia are more obscure. Is it mostly
> linked to inheritance or, as controversially claimed this week, the result
> of child abuse?
> "Environmental influence has been underplayed," says Paul Hammersley of the
> University of Manchester, UK. He and John Read of the University of Auckland
> in New Zealand argued in a debate at London's Institute of Psychiatry that
> two-thirds of people with schizophrenia have been physically or sexually
> abused as children.
> After analysing 40 studies of people with schizophrenia, Hammersley and Read
> suggest that abuse might trigger permanent changes in brain structure or
> chemistry leading to hallucinatory flashback-like symptoms not unlike those
> seen in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder.
> They also argue that much of the evidence linking genes to schizophrenia is
> flawed.
> Mainstream psychiatrists are not impressed.
> "There are no methodologically robust studies showing that schizophrenia is
> caused by childhood abuse," says Robin Murray of the Institute of
> Psychiatry.
> "The strongest predictor of schizophrenia is a family history of the
> disorder."
> Peter McGuffin, also at the institute, warns that refocusing on abuse risks
> a return to the 1960s "when it was fashionable to blame the parents for
> 'causing' schizophrenia". "A hazard is that it demonises the family," he
> says.
> =============
> My EPT comment:
> The article not only echoes the AEVASIVE [a concEPT whose meaning is greater
> than and equal to "neurotic"] insanity of the abuse-theory opposers.
> It also reflects the AEVASIVE filtering out of much of the reality of the
> existence of a broad spectrum of traumatizing lifetime predicaments
> [from slowly and subtly to speedily and shockingly traumatizing types of
> stressors - i.e. far more than just the commonly considered kinds of
> physical and sexual abuse] that require - if to be survived with a semblance
> of sanity, and capacity to behave adaptively intact - a corresponding
> existence of an inbuilt "selective/synaptic hibernation inducing
> threshold-triggered function of neurons that output opiate-like and other
> (mainly GABA) inhibitory brain chemicals as part of their specialization to
> the task of  detecting and defending complex neural animal individuals
> against current and future acute "SHITS type" environmental challenges
> (ditto adverse situations that we almost inevitably and quite naturally end
> up "in" during our individual lifetimes);
> Moreover, such (inevitably likely to exist) interneurons
> [possibly in combination with intraneuronal thresholds to "selective gating"
> of signals potentially on their way to self-defeatingly painful 'paying of
> action'; and most definitely supplemented by our learning of each our
> individual repertoire of lateral inhibition providing behaviors (IOW, our by
> trial and error and negative and positive reward functions guided
> acquisition of "actention modules"), the adaptive function of which is *in
> part* to preempt self-defeatingly distressful or flight (or defensive fight)
> type actentions (IOW, ditto preoccupations or "forms/contents of
> consciousness")] ALSO protects us against the "conditioned-in" (and thus
> subsequently  as if *dynamically conserved*) consequences (mainly and
> primarily that centrally involved glutamatergic neurons become long-term
> potentiated, but also by other examples of neuronal plasticity) of having
> been in "Selective/synaptic Hibernation Imploring Type Situations" (SHITS)
> and not succumbed.
> I suggest it is EPT to think of the just mentioned kind of memories as
> "Conditioned-in (Kept Hibernated Hence) Unconsciously
> Remembered( Retained/Reverberating) Stressors
> (SHITS-type such) Effecting Symptoms" - or "CURSES".
> Or, if one prefers, the same aptly allusive pronounciation can be maintained
> (thanks to my elastic platform terminology) with a spelling at least as
> scary as CKHHURRRSSSES. :-)
> Since this fully rational and science-aligned recognition
> and concEPTualization is (by automatic "subconscious" associations)
> as potentially painfully provocative ("psychophysiologically prodding")
> of directly related personal CURSES type memories
> as it is, further SEPTIC humored relief (or quasi-homeopathic immunisation
> against
> philosophically off-putting overload) may be gained by
> combining Arthur Janov's synonymous jargon for CURSES, namely
> "Pain" or "primal pain", with one of the two alternative concEPTs that
> closely approximates the meaning of "brain" or "nervous system" - namely
> "the Actention Selection System".
> P

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