Schizophrenia is a brain disorder associated with unusual or bizarre thinking or behavior.
The following are common symptoms associated with schizophrenia:
- Hearing things that other people cannot hear, such as noises or the voices of people whispering or talking
- Having the feeling that someone is going out of the way to give you a hard time or trying to hurt you
- Having visions or seeing things that other people cannot see
- Feeling that people are talking about you or taking special notice of you
- Receiving special messages from the TV, radio or newspaper
- Feeling you have special powers to do things that other people cannot do
- Having strange sensations in your body or on your skin
- Smelling or tasting things that other people cannot smell or taste
- Having severe difficulty concentrating and expressing oneself verbally
- Acting in ways others see as unusual or bizarre
- Withdrawal from normal social, family, and professional relations
Most of the time, the onset of symptoms of schizophrenia occurs during late adolescence or early adulthood, and each year 100,000 young Americans are diagnosed with schizophrenia. Once diagnosed, there is a very substantial chance that the patient may have at least some partial disability for most of his/her life. Medication can greatly reduce this risk.
Approximately 1% of the American population suffers from schizophrenia, and yet in the United States, public-funding supports only about $7 per patient per year for schizophrenia research. (Approximately $150 per patient per year is allocated for cancer or heart disease research). The contribution of the pharmaceutical industry in finding new treatments for this devastating illness has been much more substantial.
Schizophrenia is increasingly treated with newer medications that enable a person to lead a productive life, without many stigmatizing behavioral side effects that plagued patients on the earlier antipsychotic drugs. Quantum Laboratories has actively participated in development of these newer medications and continues to investigate other candidates of this class.