CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 18, 2011 |
"Wanna buy a song for a dime?" For many startled UCLA students and Sunset Strip sightseers in the 1960s, that was the way Larry "Wild Man" Fischer introduced himself. Anyone who took him up on his offer was rewarded with a brief, bellowing burst of nursery-rhyme-like verse, punctuated with unpredictable yelps and vocal sound effects from the disheveled troubadour. Despite his unconventional approach and a lifelong struggle with severe mental illness, Fischer, who died Thursday of heart failure at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center at age 66, went on to release several albums and became a cult figure — admired by some as an untamed practitioner of "outsider" art, but regarded less kindly by those who encountered the mercurial musician's sudden bursts of aggression.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 31, 2011 |
Things were just beginning to pick up at the House of Blues on Sunset Boulevard when in the private bar upstairs, the big man took the stage. His voice, deep and gravelly, rumbled through the room. "If ya'll love the blues, let me hear you say, yeah!" Soon, he had the room grooving: Ah, oh, smokestack lightning, shinin', just like gold. Why don't ya hear me cryin'? Ah, whoo hoo! When Artwork Jamal plays here — in a crisp white shirt and a lavender tie — the crowd is mesmerized.
February 23, 2011 |
Schizophrenia is a severe, complicated illness. There are no obvious explanations for what causes the condition, which causes hallucinations and delusions. Genes are known to play a big role. The condition is often clustered in families. Scientists announced a significant step in understanding the genetics of the disease this week. A large nationwide consortium of scientists led by Jonathan Sebat of UC San Diego has identified a gene mutation that is strongly linked to the disorder.
January 20, 2011 |
Are people who suffer from mental illnesses more likely to commit violent crimes? That question has been on the nation's mind since a 22-year-old community college dropout with a history of odd behavior was charged with shooting 19 people outside a Tucson supermarket this month, killing six and wounding Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who police say was his target. The answer may seem obvious to the general public, given the popularity of movies, TV shows and books in which mentally unbalanced individuals are portrayed as homicidal maniacs.
August 30, 2010 |
A series of studies published in recent years suggests that in people with depression, autism, schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder, the default mode network, that curious pattern of brain activity that ramps up when we daydream, works differently than it does in healthy control subjects. And in each condition, the malfunctions look slightly different, holding out the prospect of better psychiatric diagnoses down the line. In the case of schizophrenia, researchers from Harvard University and MIT found that the default mode network is overactive and faultily wired.
August 2, 2010
Genes. Environment. Brain structure and chemistry... The causes of schizophrenia are far from simple. As scientists explore the causes of the devastating mental illness, some are focusing on the interplay between genes and the environment. Viruses are part of that environment -- and that brings us to cats. Or rather, cat feces and the parasite Toxoplasma gondii . This Baltimore Sun story, Researchers explore link between schizophrenia, cat parasite , explains the possible connection.
December 29, 2009 |
It was a little more than a year ago that January Schofield, at age 6, began to drift from reality. Suicidal, violent and plagued by hallucinations of rats and cats who conversed and played with her, she began the first of seven psychiatric hospitalizations. As of today, Jani, 7, has been out of the hospital for 56 days, the longest period in 15 months. Together with her parents, Michael and Susan, and brother, Bodhi, 2, Jani is living a fragile existence -- haunted by delusions that sometimes tell her to hurt herself or others, even the people she loves.
September 22, 2009 |
A Los Angeles artist who specializes in incorporating found objects into his pieces and a USC law professor whose own battle with schizophrenia has informed her advocacy for those suffering from mental illness are among the 24 winners of this year's "genius" grants from the MacArthur Foundation. Mark Bradford, Elyn Saks and 22 other winners will each receive $500,000 over the next five years to spend any way they please. For Bradford, 47, the MacArthur award is the third major prize he has received in the last three years.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 9, 2009 |
On June 29, The Times profiled Jani Schofield, a 6-year-old girl diagnosed with schizophrenia, and her parents in "Jani's at the mercy of her mind." The article examined Jani's bouts of rage, her make-believe world, and Michael and Susan Schofield's efforts to keep their family together while also safely raising their toddler son, Bodhi. Here is an update on the Schofield family. Michael and Susan Schofield's plan to keep two apartments and trade 14-hour shifts caring for their 6-year-old daughter, Jani, worked for a while.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 8, 2009 |
So rare is the child form of schizophrenia, it has taken researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health 18 years to diagnosis and collect data on 110 children. "We are trying to understand schizophrenia in a comprehensive way," says Dr. Nitin Gogtay, a researcher involved with the project in Bethesda, Md. "We see the illness in a very pure form. At that age, there are no confounding factors, like alcohol or drug abuse. We feel a lot of answers will come out of this study."