You may remember Jani Schofield from a particularly haunting episode of “Oprah” a few years ago. Jani’s parents noticed that something wasn’t right with their daughter fairly early on, but couldn’t have imagined that their she was schizophrenic. One of the youngest cases of schizophrenia ever recorded, Jani sees imaginary animals and people in vivid detail. She also has what’s known as tactile hallucinations, wherein she feels things happening to her. Dr. Phil had her family on to discuss not only Jani’s volatile behavior, but the impact it has on the Schofields’ relationship, and their fear that their young son Bodi is also schizophrenic.
Ironically, hormones, the thing that causes women to become emotionally irrational at times (specifically once a month), may actually help ladies who suffer from schizophrenia. Dr. Jayashri Kulkami, MBBS, PhD, applied the old adage that there’s a grain of truth in every joke when she heard her patients were covering up for their symptoms by blaming them on hormones. So, she set up a study with 102 women diagnosed with the mental disorder. In addition to their regimen of medication, half of the women were given a patch of estrogen and that group reported a decrease in delusions, hallucinations, and disordered thinking. While estrogen had been linked to mental illness over a century ago, medical science is still trying to figure out the exact relationship. Surprisingly enough, the estrogen was even a success when tested on men! But there are side effects to taking these hormones besides moobs — it increases the risk of cervical and breast cancer. With these factors in mind, Dr. Kulkami is continuing her research and currently examining the effectiveness of an alternative known as SERMs (selective estrogen receptor modulators). [Health News] Keep reading »