Opinion Former Article

More research needed into causes of schizophrenia, says charity

The charity Rethink Mental Illness has welcomed a new study into the links between schizophrenia and dementia, but also called for more research into the causes of mental illness.

The new study, published today in PNAS journal, shows that schizophrenia and dementia both affect the same parts of the brain.

Mark Winstanley, CEO of Rethink Mental Illness:

“We still have a lot to learn about the causes of schizophrenia, so this new research is very welcome, especially if it can help us identify people who have a higher risk of developing the condition. That’s so important because the earlier that people get treatment, the better their chances are of recovering and avoiding long-term mental health problems.

“However, if we are going to build on this study’s findings, we need much more research into this area. Unfortunately, only 5% of the overall national health research budget is currently spent on mental illness. As a result, mental health treatments lag far behind those for physical conditions like cancer or heart disease, which is a huge source of frustration for our supporters.

“The Government has promised to put mental health on a par with physical health, but the lack of funding for mental health research shows that’s far from a reality as things stand. Until that disparity is addressed, people with mental illness will continue to get a raw deal.”



For more information, please contact Brian Semple, News and Media Manager for Rethink Mental Illness, on 0207 840 3043 or brian.semple@rethink.org

Notes to editors

Rethink Mental Illness is a charity that believes a better life is possible for millions of people affected by mental illness.

For over 40 years we have brought people together to support each other. We run services and support groups that change people’s lives and challenge attitudes about mental illness.

We directly support almost 60,000 people every year across England to get through crises, to live independently and to realise they are not alone.

We give information and advice to 500,000 more and we change policy for millions.

For more information go to www.rethink.org

Brian Semple
News and Media Manager
020 7840 3043
Follow me on twitter @SempleSemple

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