Dig this piece I received from the schizophrenia research institute

Thank you for your enquiry, which raises many important issues.

As to what is being done now to improve the lives of people with psychosis,
I can say that a great deal of research effort in Australia and
internationally is being undertaken to find better treatments, both
medications and psychosocial treatments. There are a couple of challenges
that stand in the way of progress, however.

First, there is insufficient financial investment in mental health research
relative to the magnitude of disease burden caused by mental illness. This
means that the extensive amount of work that needs to be done to develop new
treatments, and translate new – and even old – discoveries into clinical
practice, cannot be done at the pace required. The reasons for this are
complex, but boil down to community values, which in turn influence
political will. Currently our society assigns greater health research
priority to other conditions such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Second, I think there is a widespread underestimation of the complexities
involved in psychosis and other mental disorders, and hence the degree of
difficulty in understanding them thoroughly from a scientific point of view
is also underestimated. When you consider that, despite years of research,
the medications used to treat psychosis have not fundamentally altered since
the first discoveries of antipsychotic drugs made in the 1950s, such
disappointing progress suggests that our available technology has so far not
been equal to the task before us.

In answer to your question about how far we are from developing new and
better forms of medication, my response is based on the assumption that the
above conditions – insufficient financial investment and technology not
sufficient for the task – will continue to prevail. In that case, we will be
lucky to see a major treatment advance inside 20 years.

In the meantime, I do see that we have, within our current knowledge of what
we know that works, the potential to help people with severe mental
illnesses get back to a semblance of a normal life, as you put it.
Psychological therapies, rehabilitation strategies, support for social
engagement, accommodation assistance, supported employment programs and
other non-biomedical interventions can considerably improve quality of life,
help overcome social isolation and avoid hospitalization. The limiting
factors, however, are that these programs that are known to work are not
universally available, not sufficiently funded, and not adequately supported
by government’s current health and social services systems.

Your last remark that ‘we were told that a cure for schizophrenia was on the
horizon in 2003’ is very troubling to me because it possibly relates to how
medical research is reported to the public by various media outlets and
often by medical research institutions themselves. A cure for schizophrenia
was never on the horizon in 2003, nor is it on the horizon in 2017. How
could you have got such an impression?

I think it may have something to do with the research culture that prevails
in Australia and comparable countries. Scientists work in a highly
competitive environment. With a small pool of research money there is
intense competition for the limited resources provided by organisations that
disburse research funds in the form of grants. These organisations and the
scientific journals that report research findings, not to mention academic
promotions committees, have a strong preference for funding, publishing and
rewarding new discoveries, rather than repeating older studies to check that
they are correct. (This is called replication and it is critically important
for the advancement of science, but not done often enough and certainly not
very newsworthy.) Put this highly competitive research culture together with
very strong community and patient pressures to see research translated into
new and improved treatments, and the result is a medical research promotion
industry based on the production of ‘success stories.’ Consequently, the
stories get over-sold and hyped so as to capture the headlines for the day.
Under these conditions, it has been said, the need to be first trumps the
need to be true.

People will not be fooled, especially when promises are not fulfilled and
hopes are dashed. The most worrying thing about this, and I think it is
already beginning to occur, is that it can undermine the public’s trust in
science, and medical research in particular. At a time when maintaining the
integrity of science is so important in facing the many serious challenges
ahead, and when medical research is struggling to help relieve the suffering
associated with mental illness, we have to be very careful not to allow the
insatiable demand for ‘good news stories’ to influence how our work is
reported to the public.

If medical research does not remain true to its own principles in reporting
its findings to the public it will lose the trust of people like you.

Kind regards, and thank you again for your enquiry,

Yours sincerely,

Vaughan Carr
Professor of Psychiatry,
University of New South Wales and Neuroscience Research Australia


I guess he hasn’t heard of ITI 007 or MIN 101
I wonder if we’re getting our hopes up in vain??

Yeah, I was wondering that too. I think we may know more about schizophrenia research here than this research institute.

Sometimes I wonder if they even give a ■■■■ about better therapy or a cure. They would all be out of jobs and I don’t think many of them can function in the normal world either. They need to be on top so to speak and mentally ill people give them that opportunity. That being said I hope you’re right everhopeful. I got the sense that this was not a first rate institution after I read the email.

1 Like

They should stick to oceanography and playing the digeridoo. Leave the science to us.

I don’t think so, whoever would find a cure would get much money and fame.

1 Like

I think they should find a cure first of all out of humane considerations, to help the ill.

He is right in saying that mental health research is seriously underfunded and lags way behind in terms of charitable donations.
One way to bridge this gap to some degree is to encourage people to donate to mental health research.


I suppose the cure might be the pine box after all until then our brains torture us. Sucks.

yea but theres nothing we can do about it. The reason he says that its underfunded is because its still stigmatized in our communities. Its strange that illnesses that cause so much suffering, and affect so many people are still not openly acceptable to discuss.

It’s still a fairly rare illness I think. My mum and dad don’t suffer from it. Nor do any of my friends or anyone I have met while I was well not being a part of the ill community. Some people like being schizophrenic. I personally can’t deal with psychosis. My Dr said yesterday the scientists are working on it…reading this…what a laughable thing to say.

this guy was a major pompous ■■■■■■■. I don’t think he had actually spoken to a human being in a while. His reply infuriated me and just backed up my theory that these guys need sick people to be who they are. He most likely has serious problems of his own

I only knew one other guy that became ill with bipolar disorder in our teens, long before I became psychotic. He was shunned by the rest of our friends except for one or two loyal ones. I never thought that it would happen to me. I remember thinking how strange it was at the time.

I don’t think that gorilla bro…i think he is just being painfully truthful…if there’s no money and not much demand then there’s no huge chance. 1 percent of 7 billion humans isn’t much compared to cancer research and cases of cancer. So I suppose strap in schizophrenics it’s going to be a bumpy ride.


Maybe I didn’t read the part where he was pompous. What was the question that you asked him? I basically read that he didn’t think a cure was coming for a long time and talked about how he was underfunded.

Also do monkeys get schizophrenia? I have a feeling that they can only do limited tests on humans. Maybe that means I need to donate my body or brain to science.

1 Like

you might be right, i can now count maybe 4 or 5 people including myself from my high school class who have lost their minds. But bipolar disorder is a bit more common, and the total of the two illnesses adds up to around 3 or 4 percent. Psychosis is terrible man, its just as bad as cancer or some rare illness that causes disability. They need to figure this ■■■■ out. just the fear of becoming psychotic again is enough to keep me in the house for another year.

To be honest, I thought his response was pretty nice? He took the time to reply to you and explained the current impediments to a cure.


ill help you do it. Maybe we can find a laboratory that will accept your brain

I meant when I die. I don’t want to be harvested for my organs while still alive.

1 Like

It’s a human illness apparently due to a huge boost in evolution our brains grew very quickly from our last ancestor caused complications that can arise mental illness is a human condition not seen in animals or monkeys…chimps can get deppresion and so can gorillas and even dogs and they can suffer ptsd