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"Jumping Genes" Linked To Schizophrenia

samzenpus posted about 3 months ago | from the enhance-your-calm dept.

Biotech 77

sciencehabit writes "Roaming bits of DNA that can relocate and proliferate throughout the genome, called 'jumping genes,' may contribute to schizophrenia, a new study suggests (abstract). These rogue genetic elements pepper the brain tissue of deceased people with the disorder and multiply in response to stressful events, such as infection during pregnancy, which increase the risk of the disease. The study could help explain how genes and environment work together to produce the complex disorder and may even point to ways of lowering the risk of the disease, researchers say."

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77 comments

Huh? (4, Funny)

mythosaz (572040) | about 3 months ago | (#45852209)

These rogue genetic elements pepper the brain tissue of deceased people with the disorder and multiply in response to stressful events, such as infection during pregnancy, which increase the risk of the disease.

What sort of pregnancies and stressful events are deceased people having?

Re:Huh? (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 3 months ago | (#45852235)

Believe it or not pregnant women can die too. From any number of causes.

Re:Huh? (2)

mythosaz (572040) | about 3 months ago | (#45852321)

Then perhaps the writer of the article should have chosen a better voice to have written his article in.

As written, these rogue genetic elements multiply in the brain tissue of the deceased in response to stress.

Dead or undead? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45852449)

Better or worse than the "normal" type? Watch out for schizophrenic zombies!

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45853175)

Then perhaps the writer of the article should have chosen a better voice to have written his article in.

As written, these rogue genetic elements multiply in the brain tissue of the deceased in response to stress. Your first post was funny (rare for an FP). This post implies you might be serious. I'm curious, do you truly have trouble interpreting this or are you trying for a second laugh> You have a +4 FP (okay, funny doesn't count for Karma, at least it used to not), don't post in this article again. Enjoy being an AC for an article (it's a checkbox, I'm doing it right now.)

One more thing. Your refering to the summary, not the article. If you read the entire article, you would not think that.

AC rules - titbar lol ;)

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45853201)

Then perhaps the writer of the article should have chosen a better voice to have written his article in.

As written, these rogue genetic elements multiply in the brain tissue of the deceased in response to stress.

Your first post was funny (rare for an FP). This post implies you might be serious. I'm curious, do you truly have trouble interpreting this or are you trying for a second laugh> You have a +4 FP (okay, funny doesn't count for Karma, at least it used to not), don't post in this article again. Enjoy being an AC for an article (it's a checkbox, I'm doing it right now.)

One more thing. Your refering to the summary, not the article. If you read the entire article, you would not think that.

AC rules - titbar lol ;)

Re:Huh? (1)

unitron (5733) | about 3 months ago | (#45853561)

Then perhaps the writer of the article should have chosen a better voice to have written his article in.

As written, these rogue genetic elements multiply in the brain tissue of the deceased in response to stress.

Or better yet, a better voice in which to have written his article.

Of course if you're a pregnant schizophrenic zombie, chances are you've got plenty of stress in response to which these rogue genetic elements might multiply.

Re:Huh? (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 3 months ago | (#45852679)

What sort of pregnancies and stressful events are deceased people having?

Well, zombie births happen all the time. Just ask Cherie Priest.

Re:Huh? (1)

overpar (987020) | about 3 months ago | (#45853019)

Well I'm schizophrenic ! And so am I.

Re:Huh? (5, Insightful)

denmarkw00t (892627) | about 3 months ago | (#45854399)

UGH.

Sorry, but, please, can we stop this? Schizophrenia is not a "Hi I'm me. 'And I am me too!'" kind of deal. At all. Period. It's not Multiple Personality Disorder, in fact it usually doesn't involve anything like what any media portrayal has ever been. It's more of an intrusive pattern. You know who you are, but there are people whispering, singing, yelling, in your ears - outside your window - in the bathroom - anywhere around you. Telling you to do things? Maybe. Probably not. More like being annoying. But one turns into two turns into many turns into noise and chatter and intense periods of thoughts you can't escape, you can't focus on, and you can't stop. It's incredibly debilitating, but more often than not you have no problem understanding it's not "you" that's in those voices and thoughts - the real problem is understanding that those voices and thoughts are indeed coming FROM you.

The idea that schizophrenia is akin to what you see in Sybil or the media in general is usually wrong. I've yet to see any good reporting on the topic, but people throw it around plenty. "Oh, the market was up, the market was down: it's being schizophrenic." No, if the market was "schizophrenic" it would have trouble concentrating and possibly hallucinate while being extremely paranoid. At times. For the most part it would keep to itself and try to read or at least talk to someone else because it's going through something terribly difficult that no one takes the time to understand.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45855237)

Schizophrenia? I thought that was a society, bonded to the next world by the voices in their heads, torturing the excommunicated. People who serve the next world should be sent there as quickly as possible.

Re:Huh? (1)

conquistadorst (2759585) | about 3 months ago | (#45855769)

UGH.

Sorry, but, please, can we stop this? Schizophrenia is not a "Hi I'm me. 'And I am me too!'" kind of deal. At all. Period. It's not Multiple Personality Disorder, in fact it usually doesn't involve anything like what any media portrayal has ever been. It's more of an intrusive pattern. You know who you are, but there are people whispering, singing, yelling, in your ears - outside your window - in the bathroom - anywhere around you. Telling you to do things? Maybe. Probably not. More like being annoying. But one turns into two turns into many turns into noise and chatter and intense periods of thoughts you can't escape, you can't focus on, and you can't stop. It's incredibly debilitating, but more often than not you have no problem understanding it's not "you" that's in those voices and thoughts - the real problem is understanding that those voices and thoughts are indeed coming FROM you.

The idea that schizophrenia is akin to what you see in Sybil or the media in general is usually wrong. I've yet to see any good reporting on the topic, but people throw it around plenty. "Oh, the market was up, the market was down: it's being schizophrenic." No, if the market was "schizophrenic" it would have trouble concentrating and possibly hallucinate while being extremely paranoid. At times. For the most part it would keep to itself and try to read or at least talk to someone else because it's going through something terribly difficult that no one takes the time to understand.

I've always thought of schizophrenia as those of us who have an imagination like the rest of us, but can't always recognize the difference. If you think about it, anyone can "hear" voices or "see" things in your head, as if they were truly real. We can recreate any experience in our minds because that's where experiences exist. But most people can tell the difference.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45859411)

That's one way to think about it, but from what I have read (I'm not on schizoid spectrum myself) the best explanations really are that much of hallucinations comes from what is usually your "inner voice" -- like how everyone "talks to themselves" -- but that are not recognized as such.
Brain scanning has revealed that "talking to yourself" is actually a rather elaborate set up: there is division between communication AND additional signal to sort of tell yourself that this is internal source. So most likely problems would come from this signal not being sent and/or not received, and THAT means that the brain consider it an external source.

There have been pretty good articles in Scientific American (and esp. Scientific American Mind, newer sister publication) on (relatively) late(st) research on subject.

There are lots of other interesting connections; for example, with Tinnitus which appears to be caused by LACK of machinery that "cancels out test signal". This explains the odd part that losing hearing increases tinnitus; the ghost signal gets through to brain, instead of being cancelled.
So humans brains are incredibly complicated systems with multiple feedback systems; or, if you prefer, complicated software that has been continually patched and is a rather bizarre kind of bazaar, systems to amplify or attenuate signals from other parts, balance out (checks and balances)...

Re:Huh? (1)

danlip (737336) | about 3 months ago | (#45858723)

No, if the market was "schizophrenic" it would have trouble concentrating and possibly hallucinate while being extremely paranoid

Sounds about right.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45858943)

Interesting. The protagonist in the TV show "Perception" is portrayed as having schizophrenia, with the portrayed behavior reasonably matching what you have outlined above.

Re:Huh? (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | about 3 months ago | (#45853117)

> What sort of pregnancies and stressful events are deceased people having?

A guy called Dante described quite a lot of stressful events. It depends on where you end up, basically. Paradise good, Hell bad, Limbo rock.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45854007)

"These rogue genetic elements pepper the brain tissue of deceased people with the disorder and multiply in response to stressful "

Such as dying. I guess the zombie hypothesis is valid.

Anybody think about.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45859407)

This being a fungus? It travels all over the body, has DNA, grows when the immune system is suppressed (ie. stress), and causes DNA mutation in cells.

Re:Huh? (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 3 months ago | (#45854971)

What sort of pregnancies and stressful events are deceased people having?

I can only imagine how stressful it is when you're dead and suddenly find out that you're pregnant. In fact, forget the "dead" part.

Re:Huh? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45856019)

I'd say that death would be a very stressful event.

Re:Huh? (1)

Toad-san (64810) | about 3 months ago | (#45859011)

Well, becoming deceased might have been stressful at the time. Once the even is over with, however, one would think it smooth sailing.

Retroposons (4, Informative)

HiChris! (999553) | about 3 months ago | (#45852251)

Jumping genes are better known as retroposons. Shame on Science for not explaining this.

Re:Retroposons (1)

DavidClarkeHR (2769805) | about 3 months ago | (#45852305)

Jumping genes are better known as retroposons. Shame on Science for not explaining this.

Also, folks who suffer from schizophrenia actually have very low levels of latent inhibition. This makes them faster to respond to all stimuli, not just novel stimuli.

Shame of slashdot for not reporting this, either. They really should just give us EVERYTHING when talking about science, ALL at once.

Re:Retroposons (4, Interesting)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 3 months ago | (#45852307)

Actually, the L1 element (the specific genetic feature that TFA is about) is a retrotransposon [wikipedia.org], which is functionally different from a retroposon [wikipedia.org]. Transposons [wikipedia.org] are transposable elements ('jumping genes') that include the hardware necessary to move themselves; retroposons lack this ability. Retrotransposons share the "retro" in their name with retroposons because they are both converted into RNA and then back again during the copy process. It is considered incorrect to call a retrotransposon a retroposon, even though functionally they have all of the features of a retroposon (and more).

Re:Retroposons (1)

HiChris! (999553) | about 3 months ago | (#45852551)

For better or worse (ok probably worse) the L1 elements are frequently referred to as retroposons - do a lit search and you'll see what I mean. I was surprised too.

Re:Retroposons (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45853867)

I got fooled by those jumping genes once. They just have a worm inside, indeed the hardware necessary to move themselves.

Re:Retroposons (1)

the_think_tank (243176) | about 3 months ago | (#45858741)

To further clarify, retrotransposons do not "pepper the brain tissue". They are confined to the genome which is in the nucleus of a cell.

Re:Retroposons (1)

Intron (870560) | about 3 months ago | (#45853631)

Jumping genes are better known as retroposons. Shame on Science for not explaining this.

Why? Do you think just naming something explains it? Has creating the name schizophrenia explained anything? Has that classification improved life for the mentally ill?

Re:Retroposons (1)

denmarkw00t (892627) | about 3 months ago | (#45854415)

Not at all - in fact, it's made things worse. The term "schizophrenic" generally means something it isn't to most people - it's aligned with MPD and other disorders which really don't have anything to do with it. Thanks for sticking up for it :) Most people here will just go on there way misunderstanding it based on the name.

mandatory testing (1)

mexsudo (2905137) | about 3 months ago | (#45852255)

Everyone moods to be examined at birth, or before. Full testing is the only way!

Re:mandatory testing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45852309)

Everyone moods

Have you moo'd today?

Re:mandatory testing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45852431)

Testing would be useless. All it would do is tell you who's schizophrenic, at which point there is nothing to be done about it, since any use of the results of the test would constitute illegal discrimination.

Illegal .. where? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45852683)

You say illegal discrimination.
 
I say "China 1-child policy". See what I did there? So much for amero-centrism.

Re:Illegal .. where? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45858297)

You say "see what I did there?"

I say, "Have you been on the Internet since 2010?"

So much for not getting old and grumpy on Slashdot.

Re:mandatory testing (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 3 months ago | (#45856757)

At which point we can have schizophrenic regenerative therapy. And large numbers of out and proud schizos protesting the evil scientists who want to change them.

Depends on where you end up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45852267)

"These rogue genetic elements pepper the brain tissue of deceased people with the disorder and multiply in response to stressful events"

You'd think that after dying there wouldn't be many events one would consider "stressful". But I would suppose that depends on where you ended up after shuffling off this mortal coil...

defuhcation (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45852283)

I also believe this is why dogs defuhcate on a north/south axis

Hilarious. 'Schizophrenia' is caused by CHILDHOOD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45852311)

There is no such thing as 'schizophrenia', it is just a name given to a set of BEHAVIOURS. Just like 'Tourette's syndrome', 'Autism', and 'Aspergers', all just NAMES given to BEHAVIOURS.

You might as well say "the evil spirits POSSESSED this man". It's exactly the same, and just as unscientific.

Still, let's deny that what happens to a child affects their personality in any way... their genes did it, right?

Re:Hilarious. 'Schizophrenia' is caused by CHILDHO (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45852533)

There's little evidence that what happens to children causes these disorders in adults. Barring organic brain damage, it's the underlying thought processes that cause a lot of dysfunction later on, but it's not the events themselves. Which is why one child might be scarred for life by being molested and another emerges relatively unscathed to become an advocate for the abused. The difference is primarily in how the children thought about the events. This applies to most other things as well, the way that you view and cope with the event is far more important to ones future risks of mental illness than the event itself.

There's also typically a genetic component that makes it easier or harder to cope with such situations as well as a cultural aspect that may include more or less helpful responses to the event.

Schizophrenia isn't a collection of behaviors, the behaviors are what psychologists use to identify the disorder, but it's not what causes the disorder. Now, if we started to give everybody in the general populace a SPECT or fMRI to see if they needed treatment, we would likely find that the diagnostic criteria change, but as people don't come in for random screenings against every possible mental illness, the screenings tend to focus on the behaviors. I expect that this will change as the brain scanning techniques become more affordable. Even a relatively inexpensive SPECT scan runs several grand and is overkill in most cases.

What you're arguing is like there being no such thing as a table because it's just a label given to movable objects that have a flat surface on top to hold things on while you're working.

Re:Hilarious. 'Schizophrenia' is caused by CHILDHO (1)

denmarkw00t (892627) | about 3 months ago | (#45854429)

To add to the biological component, some study has attempted to link Celiac Disease in the mother to underdevelopment of key brain areas in the infant that lead to disorders such as schizophrenia. Makes sense, too, since the mother's body is busy "fighting" gluten and thus fighting it in the developing fetus as well, or so I understood it.

Schizophrenia due to infectious disease of the bra (1)

IgnorantMotherFucker (3394481) | about 3 months ago | (#45852505)

-in? I have bipolar-type schizoaffective disorder. It is somewhat like being manic depressive and schizophrenic at the same time. studies of twins who were adopted to different families at birth lead us to conclude manic depression is genetic. schizophrenia is thought to be due to infectious disease. One possibility is the mother having influenza during one's gestation. It has been known since the nineteen fifties that there is a strong correlation between having cats as a small child, and being schizophrenic as an adult. We have not yet confirmed the cause of this, but it is thought to be due to the same cat feces parasite that causes toxoplasmosis in pregnant women. In fact I myself had two cats since I was an infant. there are many, many different types of schizophrenia, so they may all be distinctly different diseases, with different causes.

Re:Schizophrenia due to infectious disease of the (1)

denmarkw00t (892627) | about 3 months ago | (#45854449)

Schizoaffective sucks - if you need a good place to go, message me (if there's a way to do that?). There are plenty of good communities, and I know one that's been very helpful for friends of mine.

Best of luck to you!

Re:Schizophrenia due to infectious disease of the (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about 3 months ago | (#45856477)

Schizophrenia due to infectious disease of the bra

Either you're into some weird stuff, your you need to watch the length limits of your subjects.

Editor's Bad News / Good News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45852525)

The Bad News: They have schizophrenia.

The Good News: They're deceased, so their schizophrenia doesn't affect them anymore!

Re:Editor's Bad News / Good News (2)

TheloniousToady (3343045) | about 3 months ago | (#45853775)

Maybe so, but anyone who would sign a release to have their brain dissected ought to have his head examined.

Re:Editor's Bad News / Good News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45854781)

In most parts of the world, your rights stop the moment you die.
No right to privacy, no right to deny autopsy etc.

Re:Editor's Bad News / Good News (1)

swillden (191260) | about 3 months ago | (#45856847)

Corpses have really weird legal status. They're not people, and they're not property, not even the property of the deceased (or deceased's estate). They can become property after being donated to medical science, but strings one might attempt to attach to donation aren't legally binding, even if there's a signed contract of some sort. And even then, they're property with very limited legal uses. The most accurate characterization of the legal status of a corpse is "ward of the state", because what can or cannot be done with a corpse is determined almost entirely by the law.

I think the conclusions stated are a bit broad (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 3 months ago | (#45852665)

saying these make up more than 50 percent of the code in your DNA is not something I've seen in medical genetics.

Perhaps their might be some confusion between "hot spots" or coding mishap regions which cause miRNA, siRNA, mRNA, and cisRNA to recode protein segments in response to environmental conditions, which can include stress (which is a factor, including environmental biochemical stress during pregnancy) and inflammation (which is a severe factor).

But the statement in the actual article that this is 50 percent of the Human Genome is not what I would describe as an accurate depiction.

You're confusing frame relay switch effects from loops in DNA coding, which may be there for good reasons to adapt to changing environmental or other stress conditions, or are survivor characteristics from prior infections and biochemical events in human history (plagues, massive food diet changes), with "half your DNA is damaged and you should blame your mom cause she stressed out when she was pregnant".

Just my two cents.

Re:I think the conclusions stated are a bit broad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45852777)

some, possibly exaggerated, estimates go up to higher than 60% of the genome being repetitive if you are including degraded copies....

http://www.plosgenetics.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pgen.1002384

it is worth noting however that they have found a link, not shown causation the two (Schizophrenia and L1 levels) may just be linked to the same cause, such as life events that impose stress on the brain.....

Re:I think the conclusions stated are a bit broad (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 3 months ago | (#45852881)

Well, it's all repetitive when you get down to it, GCAT kind of hard not to repeat sequences ....

Schizophrenic DNA .. (0)

codeusirae (3036835) | about 3 months ago | (#45852699)

"To investigate that question, principal investigator Kazuya Iwamoto, a neuroscientist; Kato; and their team at RIKEN extracted brain tissue of deceased people who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia as well as several other mental disorders, extracted DNA from their neurons, and compared it with that of healthy people"

Presumably these schizophrenics would have been on long term antipsychotic medication. I wonder would this account for the increase in L1. How were these 'healthy people' defined as 'healthy', who gets to do the defining and mightn't a number of 'schizophrenics' have escaped diagnose by not having come into contact with the psychiatric profession. Schizophrenics are people unfortunatly disgnosed as schizophrenics by the psychiatric profession ..

Re:Schizophrenic DNA .. (1)

denmarkw00t (892627) | about 3 months ago | (#45854481)

Presumably, but we don't know much about who they were or what their treatment was like. Where they locked up in padded rooms for the vast duration of their lives? There isn't much incentive to do more than sedate them. Were they actively working with a therapist and psychiatrist? Then they'd probably have more access to antipsycotics. Were they plain untreated? Knowing the sample would be very helpful...even in the "treated" population you have a wide array of tools that more often combat symptoms, not just the diagnosis: Ambien for sleep, Seroquel for knocking out the hard stuff, antipsychiotics to keep the hard stuff at bay on normal days, antidepressents and mood stabilizers to keep you level, vitamins to help supplement what your body doesn't absorb, etc etc etc. Some medications lower your body's ability to intake nutrients, or flat-out destroy your reproductive system. Celiac and other diseases generally compliment SZ. People suffering from SZ tend to be smokers, so throw some cancer treatment into that group.

The uses of schizophrenia diagnosis .. (0)

codeusirae (3036835) | about 3 months ago | (#45852837)

A diagnosis of schizophrenia is indicated when getting rid of a rival sibling in an inheritance dispute or an obstreperous wife in societies where divorce isn't allowed. Read up on R.D Lang [wikipedia.org] and Thomas S. Szasz [wikipedia.org], they both state that the mental health industry is bogus.

Re:The uses of schizophrenia diagnosis .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45852929)

I know people with this illness, hearing voices seeing "hidden meanings" etc. It is real it is a problem for them, as well as those around them.

If you do not know this from personal experience then you have little exposure to the less advantaged parts of society, try working or volunteering in the sort of job that gets you exposed to the unemployable and homeless on a regular basis this is one of the things that can make you both.

That does not mean that it is in reality a single problem, more likely it is a syndrome a collection of illnesses with similar symptoms, and nor does this mean that it has not at times abused as an excuse or a way of attacking someone, but neither of these facts make it less a real thing.

Re:The uses of schizophrenia diagnosis .. (1)

deconfliction (3458895) | about 3 months ago | (#45853647)

I know people with this illness, hearing voices seeing "hidden meanings" etc.

Note, hearing voices, and seeing "hidden meanings" are two entirely different things. I experience the latter, not the former. Note also the "hidden meanings" thing is also basically what is going on with a large percentage of religious people. Like really, lots of people. It's also something that was induced by the East German secret police (the Stasi) in order to silence political dissenters. (or tactics similar to that). And then lets not even bring up the fun of how that melts into "targeted advertising". I.e. having your personal thoughts sent by email used to select the most psychologically influencing image to present to your eyes in exchange for a 'free' email service. And note also that I imagine the _effect_ is not so much disease that is on or off in people, but I think an artifact of our pattern-seaking minds. Our brains live and thrive on making connections of signifigance. It has been my experience that drugs such as cannabis and LSD tweak/stimulate this natural phenomena. I.e. making your brain more likely to see meaningful connection ("hidden meaning") in otherwise not obvious seperate events. A good example is what happens if you are camping, and you hear leaves rustling. It is simply a survival trait that your brain has a tendency to over-react ('be paranoid') and err-on-the-side of assuming that noise was a predator about to devour you. The upside of preventing a successful predator attack against yourself is more evolutionarily valuable than the downside of being wrong some percentage of the time. So I see the mental illness as properly diagnosed when this sort of thing falls so far out of whack that people cannot cope and live decent lives. Unfortunately this very natural and common affliction has also been widely used by social predators to politically silence opponents. I urge you not to dismiss any aspect of that. People need to realize that both are important when considering the topic of schizophrenia. And note, I'm no trained psych, and have never been diagnosed with any mental illness such as schizophrenia. But I have done a lot of mind altering drugs, and I'll let others consider what I've just said and decide if it rings true.

Re:The uses of schizophrenia diagnosis .. (1)

deconfliction (3458895) | about 3 months ago | (#45853795)

ironically moments after that post, I see a user AHuxley reply to an earlier comment on another article. Another great example of 'hidden meaning' versus 'interesting coincidence' versus I'm too lazy and uninterested to see if AHuxley replied seconds after the LSD comment.

In any event, I'd also like to further add to the above sentiment, that I think in some cases the 'hearing voices' may be related to the same effect. I.e. the case of hearing something that sounds like a voice, then your by-evolutinary-advantage paranoid mind doing a pattern match against any theoretical threat. In this case, the threat of some voice saying something menacing. I do have a close relative that did go off the paranoia deep-end, and part of it involved believing they heard nefarious talk about them from the hallway beyond a closed door where they work. That fits my model of a commen scenario- you hear muffled far away voices, and your brain, in its attempt to gleam meaning from insufficient pixel or audio sample resolution, tries to 'guess' the likelyest actual conversation, but guesses wrong. I actually think my history of hallucinogenic drug use has made my mind more skeptical of such guesses. Does that make me a "high functioning schizophrenic"? Dunno... But I think the effect must be common enough. Same thing going on in the childrens "telephone game". (i.e. a ring of players, a message whispered from one ear to the next, by the time it makes it around the circle, it is entirely unrelated to the original actual message due to such misinterpretations of audio input- compounded by feedback loop. And similar feedback loops exist in paranoid thought, that perhaps increase adrenoline/anxiety and make the effect worse (but still for evolutionarily advantageous reason- over all). And worse yet when you have political enemies trying to amplify the feedback).

Re:The uses of schizophrenia diagnosis .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45854567)

I recently developed the annoying fn schiz after beening stressed out for an extended period. its like my subconscious seeped into my consciousness--its like my inner voice but I don't consciously have any control over it--it responds to stimuli and I'm like--damn, I didn't know my subconscious felt that way. its like when you dream, the other people in the dream seem like they are not you, but obviously...

Re:The uses of schizophrenia diagnosis .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45858017)

That sounds a bit like "Pure O" OCD, or are you epileptic or a sufferer of some pre-existing psychotic condition?

Re:The uses of schizophrenia diagnosis .. (1)

codeusirae (3036835) | about 3 months ago | (#45853705)

"I know people with this illness, hearing voices seeing "hidden meanings" etc. It is real it is a problem for them, as well as those around them. If you do not know this from personal experience then you have little exposure to the less advantaged parts of society"

I once met such an individual, used hang round car-parks getting drunk and yelling at passerbys. A classic case of schizophrenia if there ever was one. Turns out he grew up in a small farm house with his mother. Mother dies and his brother came back moved the wife and kids in and got him commitment. After a full course of treatment both chemical and electrical, now he can't find his own arse with both hands nor remember huge chunks of his past, carries round old newspapers in a briefcase, a substitute for his lost memories I suppose. I only know this as I was the only one else who would have a conversation with him.

Re:The uses of schizophrenia diagnosis .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45853739)

I have it. It's brutal. At the same time, there's this strange epicness to it. You see The Order as it was Written for better for worse. It's as if your ego is dispersed everywhere, and everywhere is providing you clues as to who You are. It could be self-produced DMT from the pineal gland. It could be dynamic real-time DNA plasticity (think of this as a psycho-spiritual "reboot" the person undergoes).

This is a one in one hundred disease. The folks who get the disease rarely reproduce. Darwinism would say that it should have bred itself out by now [nature.com], yet it persists across all cultures with the same genetic lottery ratio.

Want to know what I think it is? Think about primitive cultures and the deity worship similarities between them (The Incas were the people of the Sun in South America, the Egyptians had Ra).

I think psychosis is a physiological human conscious response to electro-magnetic solar phenomenon. The craziest thing, is that there's already evidence that this theory might have legs [nih.gov].

It's like trying to download a much more advanced quantum consciousness into a limited RAM, standard binary human brain.

This is perhaps why some psychotics declare themselves to be Gods or Prophets or Angels.

As one guy in a nuthouse told me a long time ago, "Man, ain't nobody shown me any evidence--any scientific PROOF--that I ain't no angel after all."

Epic.

Re:The uses of schizophrenia diagnosis .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45853779)

What's hilarious is that this is just above the "dogs pooping according to electromagnetic fields" article two steps down the /. home page.

People of the Sun, indeed.

Re:The uses of schizophrenia diagnosis .. (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about 3 months ago | (#45856675)

I think psychosis is a physiological human conscious response to electro-magnetic solar phenomenon. The craziest thing, is that there's already evidence that this theory might have legs [nih.gov].

It's like trying to download a much more advanced quantum consciousness into a limited RAM, standard binary human brain.

You seem to be implying that the sun is intelligent and is broadcasting its intelligence across radio frequencies, attempting to infect new hosts. Strange theory.

I wouldn't deny that it's possible that some people are sensitive to EM and that perhaps they have a brain structure that acts as an antenna, receiving noise but in trying to make sense of it, perceiving it as intelligent input.

This would have nothing to do with ancient worship. They simply believed (accurately) that the sun is the source of all life on this planet, and therefore thought that this made the sun an intelligent being.

Re:The uses of schizophrenia diagnosis .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45858793)

Who's to know what ancient people believed? There's no possible way to know what human cognition was before writing/iconography.

Homo sapiens and Neanderthals split some 195,000 years ago [wikipedia.org]. The earliest artwork that's been found is 40,000 years old [wikipedia.org]. That's a huge stretch of time in between. Plus, we don't even know
when language evolved in this span.

This guy [amazon.com] wrote an interesting, wild book about ancient cognition by comparing the writings on Sanscrit runes to the things that epileptics heard when parts of their brains were electrically stimulated.

This book [amazon.com] bridges the gap between Greek myth and modern Abrahamic narratives. Also, there's a lot in the apocrapha [sacred-texts.com] of the Old Testament that speak of celestial psychotic phenomenon.

Just a theory. Thanks for having the discussion.

Re:The uses of schizophrenia diagnosis .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45858119)

Such delusions of grandeur aren't "Epic", they're destructive and prevent sufferers from functioning successfully, even once they're medicated and stable in the community, their convictions that they have a higher purpose leaves them feeling that all of life's daily activities are beneath them, be those cleaning their accommodation, cleaning themselves, preparing meals, looking for work, etc. There's no "epicness", it's straight up fucking depressing, trust me.

Re:The uses of schizophrenia diagnosis .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45859383)

I'm not saying the two aren't mutually exclusive.

Part of the reason a lot of people have problems re-entering the community is that there's no narrative that includes them aside from "you're crazy, stay away from me."

Perhaps if others perceived that these folks had something to offer instead of just being "medicated and stable in their community" both sides (the "normals" and the "crazies") would be better off.

How are you so certain they're not here for a higher purpose?

Re:The uses of schizophrenia diagnosis .. (1)

denmarkw00t (892627) | about 3 months ago | (#45854511)

Another diagnosis would be along the lines of "periods of psychosis," happening more than once, for an extended amount of time. Tack on some emotional bits for the "schizoaffective" aspect. A diagnosis of anything can and has been used for all sorts of nefarious reasons, but just because someone fakes a cold to get out of work, it doesn't mean that all people sneezing and coughing are liars.

vibrant cognitive diversity that helps humans (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about 3 months ago | (#45852845)

TFA says

One tantalizing possibility is that as these restless bits of DNA drift throughout the genomes of human brain cells, they help create the vibrant cognitive diversity that helps humans as a species respond to changing environmental conditions, and produces extraordinary "outliers," including innovators and geniuses such as Picasso,

But didn't they observe the same thing on mices?

Re:vibrant cognitive diversity that helps humans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45853607)

The plural form is mouses!
-grammarnazi

What is schizophrenia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45854773)

What is schizophrenia?

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