Thursday, 31 July 2008

"Schizophrenia" - the end of the myths about a sick society?

Groundbreaking news: Once again, science is just about to have found the cause of "schizophrenia". Yesterday, July 30th 2008, the Danish news media tv2 nyhederne could tell that a European group of scientists had found a mutation in certain chromosomes to be very likely to increase the risk for an individual with these mutations to develop "schizophrenia".

The article "Tættere på skizofreniens årsag" (Closer to the causation of schizophrenia) quotes the Danish psychiatrist and researcher Thomas Werge:

"Schizophrenia has been surrounded by many myths, for instance that it was a reaction to a sick society. For 20 - 30 years now we've known, that schizophrenia with great probability is conditioned by genes. But the myths stayed alive. Thus it is very gratifying, that we now finally have documented concrete changes in our gene-pool, that imply a very strong risk for an individual to develop schizophrenia." (my italics)

And why would this be gratifying? Of course, because there's nothing more disastrous for a society, that both regards itself to be infallible, and also wishes to be regarded from the outside as being the best of all imaginable societies, than that the infallibility becomes questioned. For instance by some of the members of this society reacting with "schizophrenia" to the alleged infallibility.

The article further states, that if the new findings prove to hold, this could create a basis for easier diagnosis, better "treatment" and even "preventive treatment for those, who are at high risk to develop the illness".

"Preventive treatment"? I have a hunch, that we're here talking about taking one more step towards a "brave new world".

Yah, we've heard and read it many times before, throughout the past 20 - 30 years, that, hurray! now science has found something. Last time it was about "schizophrenic" mice, just as an example. And, by the way, what happened to those??... Last in the article, Thomas Werge thus hurries to backtrack: "Now we know, that some concrete mutations imply an increased risk for schizophrenia, but this isn't to say, that it can explain all cases of schizophrenia, because it doesn't."

I feel like asking: Well, what of it? Has science found the cause, or hasn't it?

But there's another, quite different aspect to the matter, I will have a closer look at in my next post.

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