Wednesday, November 22, 2006

On a lighter note...

Whilst searching for Schizophrenia related blogs, I came across this: Could Schizophrenia “protect” against blindness?

The first thing that popped into my brain was “Are you recommending becoming Schizophrenic to avoid becoming blind?”

Apparently the person who raised this question has read an article (which I haven’t read) that suggests that blindness could “protect” against Schizophrenia, and wondered if the opposite could also be true. I have visions of psychiatrists everywhere reading this article and then poking their patients in the eye as a cure.

The debate continued with theories about cat owners developing Schizophrenia and whether less blind people are Schizophrenic because they own guide dogs instead.

Mr Mans response was “Some people have way too much time on their hands”.


Mr Mans Wife said...

I know, it's just ridiculous.

I understand the research behind it could be useful, it's just the use of the word "protect" that made me laugh.

I'd be interested to know if many deaf people suffer from Schizophrenia, as I've read that auditory hallucinations stimulate the same part of the brain as when actual sound is heard.

Angela said...

I suppose it would depend on the reason behind being deaf. I'm not an expert, but having had a little google to confirm my thinking...

We hear because the ear picks up sound waves/vibrations and converts them into electrical signals that the brain interprets.

There are "physical" reasons (if you like) for hearing loss called Conductive Hearing Loss. For example damage to the ear drum; the ear drum converts the sound waves into vibrations, if that is damaged then that can't happen to be passed onto the brain for interpretation. In this example the area of the brain assciated with hearing is unaffected.

However there is also Sensorineural Hearing Loss that can affect the pathways for sound impulses or the brain. Examples of this could be a brain tumour or stroke. It's in those cases it could be interesting to see if they can suffer from audotiry hallucinations.

That was a lot longer than I intended! Sorry!

Angela said...

Schizophrenia Bulletin
This is a link to the abstract of an article that looks at deaf people with auditory hallucinations and the brain processes for it, comparing it with hearng people. However you have to pay to read the whole article and as I've not it may not be as interesting as it sounds!

Musical Hallucinations
This article looks at some research on people who have musical hallucinations and does mention this in relevecne to deaf people, but more with those who have developed hearing impairment, I thought it interesting though.

I found another abstract to an article; a study looking at prelingual deaf people suffering psychosis and experiencing voices. This study suggests that it reflects the beliefs of mental health professions not the actual hallucinatory experience of psychotic deaf people. "The study demonstrates that it is functionally meaningless to assert that a prelingually profoundly deaf psychotic patient "hears voices," "

But I've also found numerous websites and articles (that require subscription to fully read) that state that deaf people, including those profoundly deaf from birth, can (and do) experience auditory hallucinations.

Sorry, I kinda did it again with the long comment!

Mr Mans Wife said...

Wow, thanks Angela, that's really interesting.

I suppose it makes sense that if the ear itself is damaged then that wouldn't affect the brain - which is the part that "hears" with auditory hallucinations - and so hallucinations would still be possible.

That's amazing that people who have been deaf from birth can still experience auditory hallucinations, but once again I suppose it comes down to the cause of deafness.

Musical hallucinations sound like they might actually be quite pleasant! (Depending on what the music is like!)

Angela said...

I can think of some songs/music that would be awful to have stuck in your head, knowing my luck I'd get a dodgy boy-band pop song that I loathed.

I realised looking at my comments that I might be one of those people that Mr Man described, with far too much time on my hands!

Mr Mans Wife said...

Lol, not at all! Your comments have been very interesting! He was specifically referring to the theories relating to the percentage of people with Schizophrenia due to owning cats verses blind people who own dogs!?

I think additional research could be done into the percentage of Schizophrenics who have musical hallucinations who go on to kill - maybe they hear the Birdie Song over and over again?

Angela said...

Or maybe Joe Pasquale's "I know a song that will get on your nerves, get on your nerves get on your nerves, I know a son that will..."

Mr Mans Wife said...

That's interesting. I know Mr Man sometimes finds it difficult to concentrate when people talk to him because of the voices, so is it even harder to concentrate when you're hard of hearing because the voices are louder than the person talking to you?

And also, I know many Schizophrenics use music as a distraction from the voices, is that still beneficial for you?