SCHIZOPHRENIA - HOW EFFECTIVE IS A NUTRITIONAL APPROACH?


Dear Friend of Food for the Brain

Schizophrenia is a severe and debilitating mental illness affecting one in a hundred people in Britain, usually starting in adolescence. It is known as a psychotic illness, meaning that a person with schizophrenia may experience delusions, hallucinations and disordered thoughts. They may have little insight into their illness, commonly not recognising that they are ill.

Schizophrenia causes immense suffering, and though there is as yet no cure, the symptoms can be controlled with drugs but these have considerable side-effects. Around a third of people with schizophrenia do not respond well to treatment and may experience symptoms for a long time.

There may be many contributory causes for an individual developing this condition - genetic, biochemical, drug induced, social, psychological - however, in all cases brain function is involved. The Brain Bio Centre, an independent out-patient treatment clinic owned by the Food for the Brain Foundation, a registered charity, has specialised in identifying certain biochemical imbalances in schizophrenic patients, and correcting these with nutritional interventions with observational success.

This approach is rooted in a systems-based approach, based on the idea that brain biochemistry is highly complex, and the greatest chance of restoring normal brain biochemistry is to create an optimal nutritive environment to correct a patient's unique pattern of biochemical imbalances.

We wish to raise funds to research this 'optimum nutrition' approach to schizophrenia, by means of a comprehensive review of the existing scientific literature; to develop a rational treatment protocol for the treatment of schizophrenia with a nutritional approach, supporting existing drug and non-drug treatments, based on the current scientific evidence; and to test the efficacy of this approach in an open label study with before and after psychometric and biochemical tests.

Since the core assumption is that there is no single biochemical imbalance that causes schizophrenia, the usual study design of testing a single intervention (double blind controlled clinical trial), is not applicable when it comes to complex nutrient interventions. Instead, the aim is to measure the effectiveness of the Brain Bio Centre approach, both in correcting biochemical imbalances, and in restoring mental health. We hope to involve both recently diagnosed and long-term sufferers.

The aim of this project is to further develop the treatment protocol,  then apply this protocol in order to measure outcome and define the research that needs to be done to further refine, test and prove this treatment approach.

To this end Food for the Brain is looking to raise £50,000 to fund the project, which will be carried out by a researcher as part of their PhD, in collaboration with a University acting as an independent auditor of the results.

If you would like to help by making a donation of any kind towards this project, thank you. Please click here . If you are considering making a substantial contribution, and would like more details, please send an email to info@foodforthebrain.org giving your contact details or call 020 8870 3883.

Further details on the Brain Bio Centre can be found at www.brainbiocentre.com

We are most grateful to all of you who have donated to Food for the Brain and for your continued support.

Wishing you all the best of health from
Food for the Brain