Mental Health Awareness Month highlights the struggles of people with mental health conditions. Millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition and everyone is affected or impacted by mental illness through friends and family. Here are some of the facts from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) website:
- 1 in 5 adults in the U.S experiences mental illness each year.
- 1 in 25 adults in the U.S. experiences a serious mental illness each year which limits or interferes with their life activities.
- 1% of adults in the U.S. live with schizophrenia.
- 6% of adults in the U.S. live with bipolar disorder.
- 9% of adults in the U.S had at least one major depressive episode in the past year.
- 1% of adults in the U.S. experienced an anxiety disorder such as posttraumatic stress disorder.
- Of the 20.2 million adults in the U.S. who experienced a substance use disorder, 50.5% had a co-occurring mental illness.
With the acquisition of Florida Clinical Research Center in 2016, Meridien Research enhanced the mental health study capabilities in our Bradenton clinic and added inpatient study options in our new Maitland location. Meridien Research’s new Chief Medical Officer, Andrew J. Cutler, MD, has led some of the most advanced adult and pediatric clinical research trials for treatments of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression as well as ADHD and anxiety disorders.
Schizophrenia Research Studies
Schizophrenia can greatly effect relationships with parents, siblings, partners and friends. Sometimes, family members struggle with the abrupt and devastating changes in their loved one.
“We don’t really have very good treatments for schizophrenia. While most patients respond to some degree, significant and meaningful recovery is rare,” said Dr. Cutler. “It’s a lot like Alzheimer’s disease. We have medications that treat some of the symptoms, but there is no cure. If a patient takes their medicine faithfully, however, they can stop brain tissue loss and potentially slow or even prevent progression of their illness.”
Many patients have lost confidence in their antipsychotic medicine and stop taking them because of they don’t seem to work against terrifying psychotic symptoms or create troublesome side effects like sedation, weight gain, muscle stiffness, tremor or involuntary movements. Currently, research on these medications focuses on disease state management, as well as reducing the major side effects of these drugs. Fortunately, every year, scientific research gets closer to understanding this disorder and creating new drug therapies to help patients live a healthy and meaningful life.
Bipolar Disorder Research Studies
Meridien Research is also currently involved in multiple studies on bipolar disorder in adults and adolescents. Bipolar disorder causes more than just mood swings and the list of symptoms and criteria is extensive. Dr. Cutler believes that lengthy assessments are vital to correctly diagnosing a patient. “We need to follow all of the data. We need the patient’s history and an honest self-diagnosis from the patient.” Gathering specific details on patient psycho-social history allows for a more global view of their health.
Diagnosis and treatment is critical because of the adverse effects that mood episodes can cause. Meridien Research is dedicated to helping patients with bipolar disorder. Each study has varying goals and acheterdufrance.com timelines. Our studies focus on the latest research backed therapies and our goal is to work with pharmaceutical companies to find interventions that effectively regulate brain function.
Depression Research Studies
The most common mood disorder in the United States is clinical depression and it is found in people of all ages and cultural backgrounds. Depression affects employees’ and students’ performance and productivity. Among mental and behavioral disorders, depression accounts for most of the disability claims for adults. Feelings of hopelessness, despair, irritability, and fatigue for at least two weeks are some of the warning signs for depression. There are many other symptoms, some physical and others psychological or behavioral.
The cause of depression is a complex mixture of genetic and environmental factors, “When we’re talking about mental illnesses, like depression, we aren’t talking about a single cause and effect,” remarked Dr. Cutler. “There are many phases in the neural system that may have one or more failures. That means that one medication may work at one phase, yet may not help the patient because the cause is at a different phase or occurs over multiple phases.”
With the use of advanced technology and pharmaceutical research, the race toward a cure for all mental health conditions continues in a very positive direction. Meridien Research is dedicated to helping patients with mental illnesses and is currently involved in multiple research studies for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression in adults and adolescents. To learn more about the research studies currently being conducted, please call 888-777-8839 or check the study links online.