The voices that people with schizophrenia are hearing are probably their own inner thoughts
This is kind of breaking news -- new news: A research scientist, with the aid of a powerful microphone, was able to record a patient with schizophrenia speaking to themselves in a sub-vocal voice. The patient was not aware that they were speaking at the time.
The research is very early, a first in its field perhaps, but the theory seems to suggest that the patient's with schizophrenia symptoms may have some disconnect with the normal ability to identify internal thoughts and sub-vocal speech as being self generated and instead are interpreting the internal thoughts as coming from some external source of whatever type the person might think.
(Example of my interpretation of sub-vocal speech: the almost silent muttering under your breath that you don't notice yourself doing, until suddenly you do notice that you're talking to yourself, and then you stop because you don't want anyone to notice. The brain of a someone with schizophrenia may no longer recognize the voices of self-talk, or those of voices in memories or in imagined conversations, as being internally self-generated and instead probably tend to make up some explanation for whatever or whoever might be doing the talking that is being heard -- hearing voices. Our internal chatter can get busy and sometimes pretty mean, it would be scary to not realize that it is just yourself. )
This seems like very important news -- patients with schizophrenia may be able to be gently reminded that those voices are just brain mumbles, and to try to ignore them.
People with schizophrenia are generally not associated with violence unless there is also a history of violent behavior, alcohol or drug abuse, or more persecutory fantasies. [citation missing, I don't remember where I read that recently, but I posted it in a comment somewhere.]
Mental health symptoms sometimes may be due to underlying issues that could be easily fixed, rather than considering the patient as being 'mentally ill' for the rest of their life and likely being placed on medications that tend to have severe side effects. Effective health care would seek for any underlying causes that can be returned to a state of normal function with the simplest solutions possible, "Let food be thy medicine," the first part of the quote by Hippocrates may be the most important part.
There are several different nutrient deficiencies that can cause symptoms similar to schizophrenia or may be involved in an underlying cause for the condition, this information was from an older post of mine but it was not grouped together:
Summary update written for something else, (clearly this post could use editing): The balance of cannabinoids is a problem in Schizophrenia. (2-AG ~ noneuphoric CBD is decreased in ratio to anandamide ~ euphoric THC compared to normal health, (66)) Use of CBD as a treatment has showed promise for schizophrenia, particularly during early stages of the condition. (67) The genetic difference that might make someone more susceptible to developing schizophrenia may involve a deficiency in Cannabinoid Receptor type 2. (68) (*Additional Note for anyone interested - several nutrient deficiencies can also cause symptoms similar to schizophrenia - and would need to be treated with diet or supplements - and all or some of them might be involved and need to be treated with diet or supplement changes in order for the underlying symptom causing deficiencies to be resolved.
The nutrient deficiencies may include zinc or an excess of copper in ratio to zinc level; the methyl donor B vitamins folate and vitamin B12 - so if a genetic problem existed in methylation than standard supplements of folic acid and unmethylated B12 might make it worse instead of better as the non-bioactive forms would be competing with whatever bioactive dietary folate and methylated B12 were being consumed (wrong puzzle piece blocking a spot for the right puzzle piece); hypothyroidism and elevated bromide is associated with schizophrenia so iodine may be low and goitrogens in excess; Vitamin D and/or an underlying infection with Toxoplasma gondii may be present, and a genetic difference in the Vitamin D Receptor or vitamin D metabolism may increase risk for infection with T gondii (catbox litter of a young cat is a risk factor for T gondii infection).
Soapbox moment for patient advocacy - the prognosis/quality of life for patients with schizophrenia was better a hundred years ago then it is now. Prescription medications are never going to be able to resolve one or several nutrient deficiencies or metabolic differences.
schizophrenia, – Symptoms of schizophrenia may sometimes simply be due to an underlying deficiency of folate or B12, which could be due to an underlying genetic defect in the methylation cycle. And folate and B12 have both been found to help treat schizophrenia symptoms for some patients (or it is helping treat those patient’s whose symptoms are actually due to an underlying deficiency of folate and B12 and providing the nutrients simply is helping the brain to function normally again.) Additional note - schizophrenia has been associated with elevated c-reactive protein (see link) which I happen know requires B6, folate and B12 for breakdown. https://www.learningsuccessblog.com/blog/neuroscience-learning/creactive-protein-%E2%80%9Cmay-be-causal-risk-factor-schizophrenia%E2%80%9D So a genetic defect in the methylation cycle could cause people to be more susceptible to a deficiency in folate or B12 and a genetic defect that causes pyroluria could leave a person more susceptible to a having a B6 and zinc deficiency.
schizophrenia, – vitamin D deficiency is more common in people diagnosed with schizophrenia. [http://psychcentral.com/news/2014/07/23/vitamin-d-deficiency-common-in-schizophrenia/72813.html] It can be a symptom of later stage HIV/AIDS due to increased calcium levels in the brain [Infectious Madness, book] and schizophrenia symptoms can be caused by a late stage Toxoplasma gondii infection.
schizophrenia, – And a zinc deficiency/copper excess is more common in schizophrenia : [http://www.academia.edu/1096257/The_Role_of_Zinc_Supplementation_in_the_Treatment_of_Schizophrenia] (/speculation/a genetic metabolic defect in the copper/zinc metabolism might be an underlying risk then possibly - Wilson/Wilson's Disease is a severe form of a copper loading genetic disease. The normal ability to excrete copper is disrupted in these patients so early diagnosis and avoidance of dietary copper sources is imperative as it can cause liver damage and psychiatric symptoms. Having adequate zinc in the diet may help the body absorb less copper; excessive zinc intake can impair copper absorption. http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/digestion/smallgut/absorb_minerals.html] [http://blog.radiantlifecatalog.com/bid/65561/Nutrient-Dense-Foods-and-the-Copper-Zinc-Connection]
And a zinc deficiency prenatally may be involved in the causing schizophrenia later in life: [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1491625] [http://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2011/10/30/does-zinc-deficiency-early-foetal-life-cause-schizophrenia]
I'm tagging this prenatal care because zinc is important for pregnant women and their expected infants (and probably because I don't have a mental health category).
A more recent article discusses Toxoplasma gondii and the potential connection with schizophrenia. The discussion of a scientist's research includes the suggestion that an underlying genetic difference may make some people more susceptible to becoming infected with the intracellular microbe after being exposed or more susceptible to developing schizophrenia if they are exposed. Behavior differences may be caused in people who are infected that are more subtle than schizophrenia: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/03/how-your-cat-is-making-you-crazy/308873/
More recent discussion of toxoplasmosis infection in patients with schizophrenia symptoms, frequency and treatment benefits: https://www.psychiatryadvisor.com/home/schizophrenia-advisor/latent-toxoplasma-infection-occurs-more-frequently-in-schizophrenia/
The genetic difference that might make someone more susceptible to developing schizophrenia may involve a deficiency in Cannabinoid Receptor type 2: nature.com/npp/journal/v36/n7/full/npp201134a.html?foxtrotcallback=true
A genetic difference in the Vitamin D Receptor or ability to make active hormone D from the vitamin may be involved in an underlying susceptibility to developing an intracellular infection such as Toxoplasma gondii: chronicillnessrecovery.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=292%3Avitamin-d-and-the-effects-of-intracellular-pathogens
Regarding trends seen around the world in rate of schizophrenia, it has been dropping in South Korea and increasing in Japan. North Korea has the highest rate for the region: http://global-disease-burden.healthgrove.com/l/58241/Schizophrenia-in-South-Korea
Malnutrition in North Korea is more likely involved in the increased rate for the nation than cat ownership due to the many years of sanctions against the country. B12, folate, zinc and vitamin D deficiencies and excess copper may be involved in risk of developing schizophrenia like symptoms. Folate and calcium are considered to be potentially deficient for the typical Korean diet. Fortified milk products aren't typically consumed so extra vitamin D from that source wouldn't be available. Iodine is also a nutrient that may be deficient in the diet. http://adoptionnutrition.org/nutrition-by-country/korea/
And low iodine levels can increase risk for hypothyroidism which has been found to be more common as a comorbid condition with patients with schizophrenia. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30350120
Bromine excess can compete with iodine and may increase risk of hypothyroid or schizophrenia symptoms. http://www.kumc.edu/school-of-medicine/integrative-medicine/health-topics/iodine-supplementation.html
Low thyroid levels have been associated with schizophrenia in early treatment of the disease and has been used in more recent care of patients by an alternative physician. The following link includes excerpts from many older research articles and one mentions kryptopyrroles being elevated in some patients so a genetic cause may be involved for some patients that would cause low zinc and low B6 levels (pyroluria). http://www.orthomolecular.org/library/jom/2001/articles/2001-v16n04-p205.shtml
Schizophrenia treatment and other psychiatric care in Russia does not seem to be an ideal to follow anywhere else - or there: http://www.sras.org/snezhnevsky_schizophrenia_soviet_psychiatry However Russians on average do own a lot of cats, especially in comparison to residents of South Korea: https://www.statista.com/chart/10267/which-countries-have-the-most-cat-owners/?utm_content=buffer35f5b&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./