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					the challenger
 A Publication of the NATIONAL ALLIANCE on Mentall Illness in Buffalo & Erie County                                 vol. 2 Number 1
                                                                                                                    Spring 2010


                           Mark Your Calendar
All regularly scheduled meetings are held at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 4007 Main Street,
Amherst (near the intersection of Main and Eggert Rd.). Board meetings and monthly educational
meetings are held on the second floor (main entrance at the back of the church). Support group meetings


                                             March
are held on the first floor (church entrance at ground level at left rear of the building).


NAMI Board Meeting, Thursday, March 4th, 7:30 PM.
  Members are welcome to join us!
NAMI Educational Meeting, Thursday, March 11. Library and Coffee Hour:
  7 PM Presentation: 7:30 PM. Guest speaker: Elizabeth McClam,
  Executive Director, Safe Haven Shelter                                                                         Kendra's Law
NAMI Family Support Meeting, Wednesday, March 24th, 7 PM.                                                        Up for Renewal
                                              April                                                       Ten years ago, a beautiful young woman
                                                                                                          full of hopes and dreams left the little city
NAMI Board Meeting, Thursday, April 1, 7:30 PM.                                                           of Jamestown, NY to follow her star to
  Come meet your NAMI Board members!                                                                      the Big Apple. Kendra Webdale, plans
NAMI Monthly Educational Meeting, Thursday, April 8th. Library and                                        and life were brutally cut short when she
  Coffee our 7 PM. Presentation: 7:30 PM. Guest speakers: Harmony                                         was pushed in front of a subway train by
  Hurtgen, Court Clerk, Tonawanda Mental Health Court, and Kelly                                          a man with untreated schizophrenia
  Gotham-Audin, Attorney, Tonawanda MH Court, on procedures and                                           Shortly after the tragic loss of Kendra's
  options families need to know if a loved one is arrested.                                               life, a young father of two small children,
NAMI Family Support Meeting, Wednesday, April 28thth, 7 PM.                                               Hector Rivera, was pushed in front of a

                                               May
                                                                                                          subway train by another mentally ill man.
                                                                                                          Hector survived, but lost both his legs.
NAMI Board Meeting, Thursday, May 6th , 7:30 PM.                                                          Following these two horrific incidents,
  All NAMI members are welcome to attend.                                                                 the New York State Legislature passed
NAMI Educational Meeting, Thursday, May 13th, Library and Coffee Hour:                                    Kendra's law, and it was signed by the
  7 PM. Presentation: 7:30 PM. Guest speaker: To Be Announced.                                            Governor. In the decade since, the law
NAMI Family Support Meeting, Wednesday, May 26, 7 PM.                                                     has improved the lives of thousands of
NAMI’s 27th Anniversary Celebration and Dinner, May 20th, 6 PM,                                           seriously mentally ill individuals who are
  Protocol Restaurant, 6766 Transit Rd., Amherst, Keynote                                                 at risk to themselves and the community,
  Speaker: Steven Lamberti, MD, distinguished researcher                                                  most of whom do not believe they have a
  and physician/psychiatrist.                                                                             mental illness, who have endured repeat-

                                               June
                                                                                                          ed hospitalizations, homelessness, incar-
                                                                                                          ceration, a lack of their own safety in the
NAMI Board Meeting, Thursday, June 3rd, 7:30 PM.                                                          community, physical illnesses resulting
  All members welcome.                                                                                    from poor hygiene, malnutrition, and
NAMI Monthly Educational Meeting, Thursday, June 10th.                                                    lack of general medical care.
  Library and Coffee Hour 7:00 PM. Presentation: 7:30 PM.                                                 Under Kendra's law, individuals may be
  Guest speaker: To Be Announced.                                                                         committed by a judge to Assisted
NAMI Family Support Meeting, Wednesday, June 23rd, 7                                                      Outpatient Treatment (ACT) if they meet
  PM.                                                                                                     a very extensive, and restrictive, set of
                                                                                                                     KENDRA’S LAW - cont’d on pg. 2


          Mailing Address • 302 Parkhurst Blvd.• Buffalo, NY 14223 • 716.832.4035
           WEB SITE: www.NAMI BuffaloNY.org        E MAIL: namibuffalo@aol.com
KENDRA’S LAW - cont’d from pg. 1
                                                                                                   Law Change Opens
criteria-multiple hospitalizations, a histo-
ry of noncompliance with treatment,             We Get Letters...                                   Way for Covering
refusal to take prescribed medications,         "This year for Christmas instead of                Unmarried Children
over the age of 18, and several others.         buying one another 'stuff’ that we don't
The court requires the ACT treatment            really need, our family decided to pool
                                                                                                     Up to Age 29
team to present a treatment plan for the        our money and give it to charities that               Do you have an unmarried adult son or
patient and to return to court every six        have been meaningful to us in the past.          daughter under the age of 30 who has started
months to renew the order if continuing           Our daughter Karen immediately                 working in a job without health insurance? If
services are required by the patient.           suggested NAMI. She is doing wonder-             you do, starting January 1, they may be able to
                                                fully now but we all remember the scary          enroll for coverage through the NYS Health
A recent study completed by an research         days that we went through back in 2004!          Insurance Program's new Young Adult
team from outside New York State                Without the guidance and reassurance             Option.
demonstrates that ACT treatment dra-            we received from you, I don't know                    Under this new option, they are not
matically reduces hospitalizations,             where we would be now!"                          required to live with you, be financially
arrests, noncompliance with treatment,                                                           dependent on you, or be a student to be eligi-
and premature deaths of those under the         Judy Q.                                          ble for coverage. They must be covered under
care of ACT teams. Patients themselves                                                           the same plan as the parent. And they must be
indicated that it has greatly improved the      "Sometimes I feel exhausted by my                ineligible for insurance through their own
quality of their lives.                         family. My daughter now has mental ill-          employer. They must live or work in New
                                                ness, too. If it weren't for folks like you, I   York state or the health insurance company's
However, a significant number of patient        don't know what I'd do. Thanks for being         service area, and not be covered by Medicare.
and peer-run agencies and programs              there.”                                               The Young Adult Option does not apply
originally opposed, and continue to             Elaine                                           to vision or dental plans. Young adult cover-
oppose, Kendra's Law as "forced treat-                                                           age will require a separate individual enroll-
ment," claiming that people have a right                                                         ment in the plan, beyond what a parent pays
to be "crazy", to live on the streets if they                                                    for family enrollment.
want, or even to commit suicide if they            In Brief...                                        The Young Adult Option is the result of a
choose. Significant numbers of provider                                                          recent change in state law that affects many
                                                   The Disability Digest is a free,
agencies have also opposed Kendra's law,                                                         public employee and private health insurance
                                                   on-line newsletter and blog,
basically because they would rather see                                                          plans, but not self-insured plans. To learn
                                                   which is an excellent resource
the funds redirected to their agencies.                                                          more, visit the state Insurance Department
                                                   for individuals trying to thread              web site at
So NAMI families, who know that                    their way through the maze to                      http://www.ins.state.ny.us/faqs/faqs_S6
Kendra's law has provided a lifeline for           qualify for Social Security bene-             030_Age29_young.htm
the sickest and most difficult of patients,        fits. It's especially helpful for                  Also, under state law, if you have a child
need to take action now. The Treatment             people who want to try to work                who is diagnosed with a "developmental dis-
Advocacy Center (TAC), founded by                  while receiving benefits. Just go             ability", including mental illnesses, before the
E. Fuller Torrey, MD, is gathering signa-          to TheDisabilityDigest.com                    age of 18, that child can remain on the family
tures of supporters of Kendra's Law to                                                           health insurance indefinitely under family
present to the NYS Legislature. Please                                                           plan coverage, if the documentation is provid-
sign on to help us ensure that Kendra's                                                          ed to your health insurance provider.
Law will be there today and tomorrow to                                                          However, the insurance company will proba-
protect and serve our most vulnerable                                                            bly not inform you of this, You have to take
patients. Go to www.kendraslaw.org and                                                           the initiative, collect medical records, and
sign on today. Your voice is needed, and                                                         contact the insurance provider. There is no
you can make it count. I                                                                         additional premium for this child, regardless
                                                                                                 of age. Such documentation must be provided
                                                                                                 before the child reaches the age at which
                                                                                                 he/she would otherwise be ineligible for cov-
                                                                                                 erage under the parents' plan. I




                                                                                                                                                    2
    Toxoplasmosis Parasite May Trigger
    Schizophrenia And Bipolar Disorders
    Scientists have discovered how the              Dr McConkey says: "It's highly
toxoplasmosis parasite may trigger the         unlikely that we will find one definitive
development of schizophrenia and other         trigger for schizophrenia as there are          Good News...cont’d.
bipolar disorders.                             many factors involved, but our studies
                                               will provide a clue to how toxoplasmosis
                                                                                                  WNY Childrens Psychiatric
    The team from the University of            infection - which is more common than
                                                                                             Center has reopened an on-site library
Leeds' Faculty of Biological Sciences has      you might think - can impact on the
                                                                                             for the children and teens in treatment
shown that the parasite may play a role in     development of the condition in some
                                                                                             at the West Seneca Facility, through
the development of these disorders by          individuals.
                                                                                             collaboration with a UB Library
affecting the production of dopamine -
                                                                                             Science graduate student and her pro-
the chemical that relays messages in the            "In addition, the ability of the para-
                                                                                             fessor, and many volunteers creating a
brain controlling aspects of movement,         site to make dopamine implies a potential
                                                                                             space for children to learn to read for
cognition and behaviour.                       link with other neurological conditions
                                                                                             pleasure, as well as using the library
                                               such as Parkinson's Disease, Tourette's
                                                                                             in conjunction with their school work
     Toxoplasmosis, which is transmitted       syndrome and attention deficit disorders,
                                                                                             and activities.
via cat feces (found on unwashed vegeta-       says Dr McConkey. "We'd like to extend
bles) and raw or undercooked infected          our research to look at this possibility
                                                                                                  Niagara Falls Memorial
meat, is relatively common, with 10-20%        more closely."
                                                                                             Medical Center has recently opened
of the UK population and 22% of the US
                                                                                             a newly renovated 28-bed unit for
population estimated to carry the parasite         ScienceDaily                              men that offers larger activity areas
as cysts. Most people with the parasite            March 11, 2009                            and "comfort rooms", lounge areas,
are healthy, but for those who are
                                                                                             and rooms for individual therapy. A
immune-suppressed - and particularly for
                                                                                             25-bed unit for women is scheduled to
pregnant women ~ there are significant
health risks that can occasionally be fatal.       Good News...                              open this spring, as part of a $6.9 mil-
                                                                                             lion project to upgrade and modernize
                                                                                             their psychiatric inpatient facilities.
    Dr. Glenn McConkey, lead
                                                      Lake Shore Behavioral Health,          The new center will nearly double the
researcher on the project, says:
                                                 thanks to support from the Oshei            space for psychiatric care at the hospi-
"Toxoplasmosis changes some of the
                                                 Foundation, the federal Housing and         tal. One major goal of the new unit is
chemical messages in the brain, and these
                                                 Urban Development Program (HUD),            to reduce safety hazards, as well as
changes can have an enormous effect on
                                                 and the NYS Office of Mental Health,        reducing the use of seclusion and
behaviour. Studies have shown there is a
                                                 has opened the Safe Haven Residence         restraints, according to a hospital
direct statistical link between incidences
                                                 for Homeless Individuals to provide         spokesman.
of schizophrenia and toxoplasmosis
                                                 decent, supportive housing to individ-
infection and our study is the first step in
                                                 uals who have been chronically home-             Mental health coverage parity,
discovering why there is this link." The
                                                 less and struggle with mental illness-      under the Paul Wellstone and Pete
parasite infects the brain by forming a
                                                 es. Located at Sycamore and                 Domenici federal law is scheduled to
cyst within its cells and produces an
                                                 Michigan Ave., the large, beautifully       go into effect July lrt. Passed in 2008,
enzyme called tyrosine hydroxylase,
                                                 renovated house will be staffed almost      the law covers anyone ensued through
which is needed to make dopamine.
                                                 entirely by peer-counselors, accord-        their employer and group health
Dopamine's role in mood, sociability,
                                                 ing to Elizabeth McLam, the site            plans. Insurers cannot set higher high-
attention, motivation and sleep patterns
                                                 supervisor. Residents will be subject       er co-payments and deductibles or
are well documented and schizophrenia
                                                 to far fewer requirements and regula-       stricter limits on treatment for mental
has long been associated with dopamine,
                                                 tions than the typical group home.          illness and addiction disorders. Nor
which is the target of all schizophrenia
                                                 Candidates for housing are being            can they establish separate
drugs on the market. The team has recent-
                                                 sought through the Crisis Services          deductibles for mental health care and
ly received $250,000 (£160,000) to
                                                 Homeless program, the City Mission,         for the treatment of physical illnesses.
progress its research from the US-based
                                                 and other groups that work with the         It's estimated that the new law will
Stanley Medical Research Institute,
                                                 homeless.                                   improve coverage for 140 million
which focuses on mental health condi-
                                                                    (cont’d column 3)        people insured through their jobs. I
tions and has a particular emphasis on
bipolar illnesses.


                                                                                                                                        3
        Maurice Clemmons: Mental Illness Does Cause Violence
          Maurice Clemmons is the alleged shooter of four policemen.
                   He was likely mentally ill and untreated.                                  NAMI Officers & Board
                                                                                                   2009-2010
                         According to the Seattle Times:
    Clemmons was (previously) accused of gathering his wife and young rela-
tives around at 3 or 4 in the morning and having them all undress. He told them                President
they need to "be naked for at least 5 minutes on Sunday," a Pierce County sherif-              Mary Kirkland
f's report says. "The whole time Clemmons kept saying things like trust him, the               832-4035
world is going to end soon, and that he was Jesus," the report says.
    Clemmons' sister…told (police) "Maurice is not in his right mind...he was                  Vice President
saying that the secret service was coming to get him because he had written a                  Marcy Rose
letter to the President.…His behavior has become unpredictable and erratic.”                   688-4125
She suspects he was having a mental breakdown," the report says.
    Other family members…reported that Clemmons had been saying he could                       Treasurer
fly and that he expected President Obama to visit to "confirm that he is Messiah
                                                                                               Jerry Keppel
in the flesh."
                                                                                               837-4602
All this raises the question, “Are the mentally ill more violent than others?”
                                                                                               Recording Secretary
The answer depends on how you define “mental illness”. If “mental illness”                     Irene Turski
incorporates 40% of the population who ‘advocates’ and ‘professionals’ say
have a ‘diagnosable mental disorder”, studies find they are not more violent than              Corresponding Secretary
others.                                                                                        Lynne Shuster
                                                                                               862-8229
But when most of us ask the question, “are the mentally ill more violent” we are
not asking about the "worried-well", we are asking about the most seriously                    “Challenger” Editor
mentally ill—the 5% of the population with illnesses like schizophrenia and
treatment-resistant bipolar disorder. People more likely to be living in the streets
                                                                                               Lynne Shuster
untreated, than working. In that case, the answer is clearly “yes”--the seriously
mentally ill who are untreated are more violent as a group than others.                                At Large

                                                                                               Mary Lou Bond
                                          (Clemmons/Violence - cont’d on pg. 5)

 Unmet Need for Mental Health Care in Schizophrenia:                                           675-9649
 New Data from a First-Admission Study
                                                                                               Max Gabriel
                                                                                               677-4517
           In surveys of large numbers of patients with schizophrenia, approximately
 40% said they have not had treatment in the preceding six to twelve months. Clinical
 studies indicate that many patients “virtually drop out of treatment” after their initial
 contact with services and receive little mental health care in the years after that origi-    Lorraine Lopez
 nal contact.
          Clinical studies of patients in routine treatment settings indicate that the         Jim McGoldrick
 treatment of these patients often fall short of the standards set by evidence-based
                                                                                               837-6036
 practice guidelines, while at least half of these patients continue to experience signif-

                                                                                               Esther Trachtman
 icant symptoms. The lapses are most obvious in the lack of psychosocial treatments

                                                                                               639-0559
 and in outpatient settings.
         The expansion of managed care has led to further reduction in the use of

                                                                                               Barbara Utter
 psychosocial treatments and continuity of care.

                                                                                               741-3208
           The researchers found a substantial level of unmet need for care of patients
 with schizophrenia both at the community level and in treatment settings. “More
 than half of the individuals receive either no treatment or “suboptimal” treatment.
                                                                                               Roger Watkins
                                                                                               875-6825
 Ramin Mojtabai, MD, et. al.
 Medline
 November 20, 2009

                                                                                                                         4
Clemmons/violence, cont’d. from pg. 4

Dr. E. Fuller Torrey, founder of the Treatment Advocacy Center, created the best colllection of statistics on violence by the
mentally ill. Here are just a few:

• A1988 Department of Justice study reported that individuals with a history of mental illness (not including drug or alcohol
  abuse) were responsible for 25 percent of cases in which an individual killed his/her parent.
• Of the 28 homicides between 1970 and 1975 in Albany County, New York, individuals with schizophrenia committed 29
  percent.
• Individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia carried out 10 percent of all homicides between 1978–1980 in Contra Costa
  County in California.
• In Indiana, 10.2% of homicides between 1990 and 2002 were by individuals diagnosed with serious mental illness
• A study of 133 outpatients with schizophrenia showed that 13 percent of the study group was characteristically violent.
• A Swedish 1990 study reported the seriously mentally ill committed violent offenses at a rate four times greater than the
  general population.

There are many other such studies. In reviewing many, one researcher concluded:
"The data that have recently become available, fairly read, suggest the one conclusion I did not want to reach: Whether the
measure is the prevalence of violence among the disordered or the prevalence of disorder among the violent, whether the
sample is people who are selected for treatment as inmates or patients in institutions or people randomly chosen from the
open community, and no matter how many social and demographic factors are statistically taken into account, there appears
to be a relationship between mental disorder and violent behavior."

Over 1000 homicides are committed every year in the USA by individuals with untreated serious mental illness.
In spite of the overwhelming evidence, there are many violence deniers out there. Most of them are commissioners of the
state mental health departments. If they acknowledge violence, then they would have to revamp their 'blinders on' policy.
Instead of helping the 5% who are most seriously ill, they focus the bulk of their dollars on the 40% with a "diagnosable"
mental illness which they define quite broadly. As a result of abandonment of the most seriously ill by the mental health
departments, the police have become the de-facto mental health system. Four policemen recently paid the price.

The good news is that research shows treatment lowers the rate of violence. From a policy perspective, this means one way
to lower violence would be for state legislators to pass laws requiring their mental health departments to spend at least 80%
of their mental health dollars on the most seriously ill. Those most likely to become violent.

Another helpful change would be to implement Assisted Outpatient Treatment Laws. These laws have been shown to dra-
matically reduce violence by the mentally ill. They require the mentally ill to stay on violence preventing medications, mon-
itor compliance, and commit the system to providing services. When the NYS Mental Health Department was forced by the
Legislature to implement these laws, they found that among the mentally ill in the program:
47 percent fewer harmed others
46 percent fewer experienced damaged or destroyed property
43 percent fewer threatened physical harm to others
83 percent fewer experienced arrest
87 percent fewer experienced incarceration

Maurice Clemmons has now been killed, and his only other option was to be captured.
Neither was a good outcome for him. Treatment would have been better for all.
Certainly it would have been better for the four policemen. We have to stop denying
violence and start treating it. I




                                                                                                                                5
                                        On the Frontiers of Science
     Childhood
    Predictors of
Complete and Severe                                                                   (cont’d. from col. 2)

 Suicide Attempts:                                                             Olanzapine and risperidone showed
 Findings from the                                                             greater effectiveness in tolerability.

 Finnish 1981 Birth                                                            Clozapine demonstrated better
   Cohort Study                                                                effectiveness compared to other
                                                                               agents for patients who discontin-
A recent study of 5302 Finnish citi-                                           ued their first medication because it
zens indicates that males who com-                                             wasn’t effective.
pleted suicide and/or made serious
                                                                               T.C. Manschrek, et.al.
suicide attempts in adolescence or
early adulthood had psychiatric              The CATIE                         Harvard Review of Psychiatry
                                                                               March 13, 2009
problems by the age of 8, including      Schizophrenia Trial
living in a nonintact family, psycho-
logical problems as reported by a
primary teacher, or conduct, hyper-
                                        The massive, government-spon-          Add-on Mirtazapine
                                        sored CATIE study has some dis-
kinetic and/or emotional problems.      couraging news regarding maintain-     Enhances the
Male suicides were predicted most
strongly by children identified as
                                        ing pharmacological treatment in       Antipsychotic Effect
                                        schizophrenia. Only 26% of patients
having both conduct difficulties and    completed the 18-month trial on the    of First Generation
internalizing their problems. No
predictive associations among the
                                        medicine they were originally pre-     Antipsychotics
                                        scribed. Patients receiving olanzap-
study variables were found among        ine stayed on their medication a       In a recent double-blind, placebo-
the females.                            slightly longer time, despite its      controlled trial, mirtazapine out-
A. Sourender, et. al                    association with metabolic distur-     ranged placebo on almost all mea-
Archives of General Psychiatry          bance, especially weight gain.         sures. The PANSS (Positive and
April 13, 2009
                                                                               negative Syndrome Scale) score for
                                        Perphenazine (Trilafon) an older       positive symptoms decreased by
                                        antipsychotic, unexpectedly showed     17.2% with mirtazapine vs. 1.6 with
                                        comparable levels of effectiveness     placebo, and the Panns score for
                                        and produced no more extrapyra-        negative symptoms decreased by
                                        madil side effects than the newer      12% for mirtazapine and 3% for
                                        medications. Despite elevated pro-     placebo.
                                        lactin elevation, risperidone was the
                                        best tolerated medication.            G. Joffe et. al
                                                                              Schizophrenia Research
                                        Ziprasidone (Geodon) was associat- March 25, 2009
                                        ed with weight loss and with posi-
                                        tive impact on lipids and blood glu-
                                        cose.

                                        (cont’d in col. 3)                             (Frontiers - cont’d on pg. 7)
                                                                                                                        6
Frontiers - cont’d from pg. 6

                                                                                              denied benefits to those discharged, at least in
                                                                                              part, because of the disorder during a six-year
AHRQ: Research                             Yi-Gan San as Adjunctive
                                                                                              period that ended Oct. 14, 2008.
Summaries                                         Therapy for
                                              Treatment-Resistant
Most Office-Based                                                                             Legal notices are being mailed to about 4,300
                                                                                              veterans informing them they can “opt-in” to the
                                                Schizophrenia:
Psychiatrists are                            An Open-Label Study                              lawsuit until July 24 to be part of the expedited
                                                                                              review. Attorneys for the veterans estimate that
                                                                                              millions of dollars could be paid to veterans
Providing
                                                                                              under the agreeement, with some veterans
                                          Recent studies indicate that the tra-
                                                                                              receiving hundreds or more dollars in increased
Medication Rather                         ditional Japanese herbal medicine
Than Psychotherapy                        yi-gan san may be safe and useful in                monthly benefits.
                                          treating behavioral and psychologi-
to Their Patients                                                                             PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can develop
                                                                                              after a terrifying event in which the person was
                                          cal symptoms in patients with
                                                                                              physically harmed or felt threatened. Symp-
                                          dementia and borderline personality
                                                                                              toms can range from flashbacks to problem
The use of psychotherapy has              disorder, as well as treatment-resis-
                                                                                              drinking.
declined markedly among U.S.              tant schizophrenia. A significant
office-based psychiatrists, reveals a     decrease in both positive and nega-
                                                                                              At issue is the disability rating given to military
                                                                                              veterans discharged with PTSD. Each of the
new study. For instance, the per-         tive symptoms measured on the
                                                                                              seven plaintiffs was given a rating of 10 percent
centage of visits to psychiatrists that   PANNS scale was observed, but not
                                                                                              or less.
included psychotherapy dropped            in the control group.
from 44.4 percent during 1996-
1997 to 28.9 percent in 2004-2005.        Tsuyoshi Miyaoka, MD, et. al                        The law requires the military to assign a disabili-
                                                                                              ty rating of at least 50 percent to those dis-
                                                                                              charged for PTSD, said Bart Stichman, co-
Similarly, the number of psychia-         Clinical Neuropharmacology,
                                                                                              executive director of the National Veterans
trists who provided psychotherapy         Vol. 32, pages 6-9
                                                                                              Legal Services Program, a non-profit organiza-
to all of their patients fell by nearly   January-February 2009
                                                                                              tion that represents the veterans. Since
half from 19.1 percent to 10.8 per-
cent during that time. The                                                                    October 2008, the military has given the 50 per-
                                                                                              cent rating to those discharged with PTSD,
                                                                                              Stichman said.
researchers attribute the decline in


                                            Thousands of vets could
psychotherapy to a drop in the num-
                                                                                              The higher rating ensures that the veteran

                                             get benefits upgrade
ber of psychiatrists specializing in
                                                                                              receives life-long monthly disability payments,
psychotherapy and a corresponding
rise in those specializing in drug                                                            free health care for the veteran and the veter-
                                          Because of a lawsuit, the military will review      an’s spouse and health care for the veteran’s
                                                                                              minor children.
therapy. They note that these
changes were likely sparked by            the records of vets discharged with PTSD.

                                          Associated Press/St. Petersburg Times -             If a veteran qualifies for a higher disability rat-
reimbursement policies favoring
brief medication management visits        Tuesday, January 26, 2010                           ing, he or she may receive back pay and reim-
                                                                                              bursement for health care expenses.
                                          WASHINGTON - A military review could bring
over psychotherapy and the intro-

                                          millions of dollars in benefits to thousands of     To help affected veterans, the National
duction of new psychotropic med-
                                          Iraq and Afghanistan veterans discharged with       Veterans Legal Services Program and Morgan
ications with fewer adverse effects
                                          post-traumatic stress disorder.                     Lewis and Bockus LLP law firm have coordinat-
in recent years. The study was sup-
                                                                                              ed about 100 volunteer lawyers to offer free
ported in part by the Agency for
                                          The military has agreed to review the records of    counseling.
                                          recentveterans discharged with PTSD to decide
Healthcare Research and Quality

                                          whether they were improperly denied benefits.       Stichman said it’s possible some veterans will
(AHRQ).

                                                                                              qualify as part of the class-action suitwho did
                                          The agreement stems from a judge’s order in a       not serve in combat, but instead were dis-
http://www.ahrq.gov/research/feb0
9/0209RA24.htm                            class-action lawsuit originally filed by seven      charged for PTSD related to some other type of
                                          combat veterans. They said the military illegally   traumatic event, such as rape. I
                                                                                                                                                    7
From the Treatment Field...
Many Antipsychotic                       In 2003, the US Food and Drug
                                         Administration began requiring a warn-
                                                                                     not lead to any increase in blood sugar
                                                                                     testing rates and only a marginal
Users Not Getting                        ing on labels of second-generation          increase in cholesterol testing rates (an
                                         antipsychotic medications stating that      increase of 1.7 percent).
Needed Tests                             blood sugar levels should be monitored
People who take newer drugs for schiz- in people with diabetes, at risk for the
ophrenia and other psychotic condi- disease or with symptoms of high blood
tions are supposed to have their blood sugar.
sugar and cholesterol levels checked                                                 Clozapine for
regularly but many don't, according to a At the same time, the American              Schizophrenia:
study released today.                    Diabetes Association and American
                                         Psychiatric Association issued a state-     Life-threatening or
These so-called "second-generation" ment describing the risks of elevated
antipsychotic drugs, which include blood sugar and cholesterol levels asso-          Life-Saving Treatment?
olanzapine (Zyprexa), risperidone ciated with these drugs and laid out a             Clozapine, despite its side effect bur-
(Risperdal) and aripiprazole (Abilify), monitoring protocol which included           den, may be the most effective and have
were developed because older antipsy- blood sugar and cholesterol screening          the lowest mortality risk among all
chotics have significant side effects. for anyone starting one of them.              available antipsychotics.
However, the newer drugs are known to
significantly increase blood sugar and These warnings and recommendations            Researchers in Finland surprised psy-
cholesterol levels, raising the risk for had little impact, according to the new     chiatrists this year by announcing that
diabetes and heart disease.              study, an analysis of claims data from      clozapine “seems to be associated with
                                         low-income patients covered by              a substantially lower mortality than any
In a study, researchers found that less Medicaid in California, Missouri and         other antipsychotic.”1 This finding also
than one-third of low-income Medicaid Oregon between 2002 and 2005.                  surprised the researchers, who expect-
patients who are treated with these                                                  ed their 11-year study to link long-term
drugs have their blood sugar and cho- Morrato and colleagues used the data to        use of second-generation (“atypical”)
lesterol levels checked.                 compare blood sugar and cholesterol         antipsychotics with increased mortality
                                         testing rates between a group of            in patients with schizophrenia. Instead
And perhaps even more concerning, 109,451 patients taking a second-gen-              they found longer lives in patients who
say the researchers, screening rates did eration antipsychotic drug and a con-       used antipsychotics (and particularly
not increase following government trol group of 203,527 not taking one of            clozapine), compared with no antipsy-
warnings and recommendations calling these medications.                              chotic use.
for increased blood sugar and choles-
terol monitoring.                        Blood sugar and cholesterol testing         This study’s findings do not change
                                         rates, they found, were no different for    clozapine’s association with potentially
The findings are consistent with others patients starting an antipsychotic med-      fatal agranulocytosis as well as weight
from non-Medicaid populations, said ication than for the control group of            gain, metabolic abnormalities, and
Dr. Elaine H. Morrato of the University individuals from the same states.            other adverse effects. Clozapine also is
of Colorado, Denver.                                                                 difficult to monitor, as patients must
                                         Initial screening rates for those treated   have periodic blood tests, and be
She has this advice: "If you are taking with antipsychotics were low -- 27 per-      enrolled in FDA-mandated registries.
second-generation antipsychotic drugs, cent had their blood sugar checked and        These obstacles might discourage psy-
then you should be screened for dia- 10 percent had their cholesterol levels         chiatrists from offering clozapine to
betes and (high cholesterol and fats in checked, the researchers report in the       patients who could benefit from it.
the blood) and monitored for potential Archives of General Psychiatry.
adverse drug effects. This is important                                              Why bother considering clozapine?
so that you can receive appropriate pre- The government warnings and profes-         Because recent data on decreased mor-
ventive care and treatment."             sional society recommendations did          tality, decreased suicidality, and control

(cont’d. in col. 2)                       (cont’d. in col. 3)                                  (Clozapine - cont’d. on pg. 9)

                                                                                                                                  8
Clozapine, cont’d.                              home Sunday said the family would have no
                                                comment until after consulting its attorney.
                                                                                                  Drugs may aid only deep
of aggressive behavior make clozapine           The State Commission of Correction says
                                                                                                  depression
                                                                                                           A study reports little benefit for
a compelling choice for many patients.          that Erie County’s jails have held 7.5 percent

                                                                                                                 lesser symptoms.
Careful attention to clozapine’s adverse        of the prisoners in New York’s county jails
effect profile is necessary, but these          over the past five years. But Erie County’s

                                                                                                  New York Times/St. Petersburg Times -
risks can be managed with appropriate           jails have now had 16 percent of the county

                                                                                                  January 7, 2010
                                                jail suicides, or six of the 37 suicides since
monitoring.
                                                2005.

                                                                                                  Some widely prescribed drugs for depression
                                                                                                  provide relief in extreme cases but are no more
Leslie Citrome, MD, M                           Law enforcement officials have said Murr

                                                                                                  effective than placebo pills for most patients,
PH                                              was an admitted heroin user. Undersheriff

                                                                                                  according to a new analysis.
Professor of psychiatry, New York               Richard T. Donovan has said Murr under-
University School of Medicine, New              went suicide screening, “and as far as we

                                                                                                  While the study does not imply the drugs are
York, NY                                        knew, there was no risk.”

                                                                                                  worthless for anyone with moderate to serious
Director, Clinical Research and
                                                                                                  depression - many such people so seem to
Evaluation Facility, Nathan S. Kline            So Murr went into the general population.

                                                                                                  benefit - it does provide a likely explanation for
Institute for Psychiatric Research              Jail officials have said deputies did all they

                                                                                                  experts’ sharp disagreement about the drugs’
                                                could. Holding Center deputies reportedly

                                                                                                  overall effectiveness.
                                                found Murr hanging less than 10 minutes
                                                after he was last seen during their routine 15-
          Recent                                                                                  Previous studies have painted a confusing pic-
                                                minute checks.

                                                                                                  ture. Industry-supported trials have generally
                                                                                                  found that the drugs sharply reduce symptoms
                                                Murr was charged with robbery and grand
           NEWS                                 larceny following his arrest in connection
                                                                                                  while many other studies showed no significant
                                                                                                  benefits.
                                                with last Monday’s holdup of an HSBC
                                                Bank branch on Main Street in the City of

                                                                                                  The new report, in the Journal of the American
Inmate who tried to kill                        Tonawanda.

                                                                                                  Medical Association, reviews data from previ-
                                                                                                  ous trials on two types of drugs. It’s the first to
self in cell dies                               His death came three days after County

                                                                                                  analyze responses from hundreds of people
                                                Attorney Cheryl A. Green asked a federal
BY PATRICK LAKAMP
                                                                                                  being treated for moderate symptoms, as are
                                                judge to dismiss a Justice Department law-

                                                                                                  most people who seek care.
BUFFALO NEWS STAFF                              suit stressing that Erie County’s jails need to
REPORTER                                        improve their suicide-prevention efforts and

                                                                                                  Reasearchers evaluated six large drug trials
                                                install other constitutional safeguards.

                                                                                                  involving 728 men and women, about half with
Updated: December 21, 2009
                                                                                                  severe depression and half with more moderate
The Erie County Holding Center inmate           In an earlier report on the Holding Center in

                                                                                                  symptoms. Three of the trials were of Paxil, a
who last week fashioned a noose with his        Buffalo and the Correctional Facility in

                                                                                                  so-called SSRI, and three were of imipramine,
shoelaces to attempt suicide died Saturday, a   Alden, the department claimed the Holding

                                                                                                  an older generic drug from the tricyclics class.
Sheriff ’s Office spokeswoman said Sunday.      Center continues to hold suicide-prone
Adam Murr, of North Tonawanda, charged          inmates in cells that offer opportunities for

                                                                                                  The team, led by Jay Fournier and Robert
in a bank robbery, had been hooked to life-     hangings, counter to the special advice given

                                                                                                  DeRubeis of the University of Pennsylvania,
support machines in Buffalo General             to the county by the National Commission

                                                                                                  found that compared with placebos, the drugs
Hospital, and his chances of survival were      on Correctional Health Care.

                                                                                                  caused a much steeper reducation in symptoms
poor. Murr is the first suicide death in the
                                                                                                  of severe depression. Those with lesser
county jails this year, although the U. S.      Green, however, told U. S. District Judge

                                                                                                  depression got little or no added benefit from
Justice Department has reported three previ-    William M. Skretny the design of the cells

                                                                                                  the medications.
ous suicides and 13 suicide attempts in Erie    satisfies the State Commission of Correction
County facilities since 2007.                   and contended that the Justice Department’s

                                                                                                  “The message for patients with mild to moder-
                                                objections amount to federal overreaching

                                                                                                  ate depression,” DeRubeis said, “is...there’slittle
Murr, 31, hanged himself Thursday, the day      into state affairs.

                                                                                                  evidence that (medications) add to other efforts
after Erie County officials went to court to
                                                                                                  to shake the depression--whether it’s exercise,
defend the suicide-prevention measures in       Skretny reserved decision on her motion to

                                                                                                  seeing the doctor, reading about the disorder or
their jails.                                    dismiss the federal lawsuit.

Someone who answered the door at Murr’s         News staff reporter Matthew Spina contributed     going for psychotherapy.” I
                                                to this story.
(cont’d in col. 2)                              e-mail: plakamp@buffnews.com

                                                                                                                                                        9
NAMI’s Future Fund
                                                                                Welcome…
                                        Mike & Marsha Devine                       We’re delighted two introduce two new
Cornerstone Society $2,500 - $4,999
                                         Susan Friedhaber-Hard                  NAMI Buffalo Executive Board Members,
Susan Minotti
                                        James & Rita McGoldrick                 Irene Turski and Lorraine Lopez. We’re so
                                        George & Myra Trautman                  pleased that Irene has already accepted the
President’s Circle $1,000 - $2,499      Les & Imogene Wager
Anonymous                                                                       position of our Recording Secretary and has
                                        Norbert & Marie Weckerle                agreed to serve on the NAMI NYS
                                        Milenko & Anna Zdjelar                  Nominations Committee. We wish them a long,
Circle of Hope $500 - $999              Gail Donaghue in honor of               happy and productive experience as they work
Brian Moore                                       Scott Howard                  for all of us to create a better life for families
                                        Abel Fink, PhD in memory of             struggling to deal with serious mental illness.
Rainbow Circle $250 - $499                        Miriam Becker
Radhika & Dharma Iyer                   James & Patricia Howell in honor of
Lynne M. Shuster                                  Donna Murphy
                                        James & Mary Kirkland in memory         Thanks…
Benefactors $100 - $249                           of Ann Bird’s grandson          To our very special Family to Family
Douglas P. Easton                       Susan Lord Wetherbee in honor of        teachers, JoEllen Pennella and Gerie Cruz
Thomas Hays, MD                                   Renee                         who completed our latest class just before the
Sheila Haque                            Patricia McCall in honor of Lynne       holidays.
Dr. & Mrs. Jeffrey Kashin                         and Mary                        To our Welcoming Committee members:
Dr. Oscar & Lorraine Lopez              Barbara Rex in memory of                Nora Roberto, and Librarian Rosemary
Barbara Milliken                                  Christopher Rex               Donnelly, and to library consultant, Marcy
Marguerite Mohr                         Patricia Sturgess in honor of Sandy &   Rose.
Bill & Margaret Paget                             Ronnie Lasky                     To Ann Ezzo, our new Membership
Richard & Marcy Rose                                                            Committee Co-chair, and veteran Co-chair
Dennis Sajdak                                                                   Mary Lou Bond.
Barbara Utter                                                                      To Max Gabriel, serving on the NAMI New
Ann Venuto                                                                      York State Board which involves long slogs to
Cherie & Gary Wilcox                                                            Albany, often in bad weather, and looong week-
Mary Ann & Marc Blackowicz in                                                   ends in meetings and stuffy conference rooms.
         memory of Bernard Blackowicz                                           A special thanks to him, as well, for his out-
Bob and Grace Chambers in honor of                                              standing work to address the mental health
         Darrell Surerus                                                        problems of weary veterans and their families,
Ellen Todd Cooper in memory of                                                  who have given so much.
         Frederick Todd Cooper                                                      To Gerry and Sue Keppel, who do so much
Jeff & Rosemary Donnelly in memory of                                           to prepare for our monthly educational meet-
         Miriam Becker                                                          ings—moving dozens of chairs, making sure
Ann Ezzo in memory of Al Ezzo                                                   the doors are unlocked, setting up our print and
                                                                                brochure table, arranging refreshments for us
Future Fund Builders $60 - $99                                                  all to enjoy, making sure everything is ship-
                                                 In Memoriam –                  shape at the end of the evening. Don’t know
Steven Dubovsky, MD
Josephine Woloszyn
                                                 Myra Trautman                  what we’d do without them!
                                        Mary K. Bertell                             To all our United Way, CFC and SEFA
                                        Clifford & Lorna Cooke                  contributors as well as our friends and NAMI
Future Fund Friends
                                        Margaret M. Daniels                     members whose financial support is so impor-
Marie Cieplinski
                                        Paul & Wanda Haak                       tant in keeping NAMI working.
Joan Coffta
                                        Joan Heffron
Willie Mae Dorsey
                                        Joy Higgins                             Our Sympathy…
Arthur Efron
                                        Robert & Kathie Kersten                 NAMI folks have lost many good friends,
Linda Freedman
                                        James & Mary Kirkland                   members, and loved ones in the last few
Marge Goulet
                                        Jane E. Korte                           months. Our hearts and prayers for:
Jacqueline Hanley
                                        Allison Martin                          Mary Ann Blackowicz on the loss of her
Tracy Zacobowitz
                                        John Stewart Martin                             husband, Bernard.
Karen Kristich
                                        Lynne Shuster                           The family and friends of Miriam Becker.
Karen Puehn
                                        Mark & Mary Lou Slott                   Anne Bird, on the loss of her grandson.
Jo Schweitzer
                                        Ann E. Thorpe                           George Trautman, on the loss of his dear wife,
Irene Seegars
                                        Mr. & Mrs. Frank Worth                          Myra.
Sandra R. Stone
                                        Tina Zelasko                            Pat Watson, on the loss of her mother.
Teresa & Robert Cochran
                                        Phillip & Joyce Trautman Bobrowski      Greg Zafirakis, on the loss of his wife, Kely.
                                                                                                                                     10
        Membership                     (cont’d. from col. 1)
NAMI Advocates $250 - $499
First Presbyterian Church of       Nola Stutz
Clarence                           Sheila Summers
                                   Jerry Scott & Renee Szarowicz
NAMI Benefactors $100 - $249       Esther Trachtman
Mervin & Margaret Baker            Damien & Irene Turski
Joseph & Mary Jane Brendle         Jane F. Urbanski
Ravinder Dua                       William & Barbara Wilson
Sheila Dunn                        Lillian D. Wosilait
Joe and Beth Lombardo              Arlene & Paul Zawadski
Claudia F. Michalek, MD            Eileen A. Boland in honor of                     We invite you to join
Jane and Joe Penvose               Michael Boland
                                   Abel Fink, PhD in memory of
                                                                          NAMl Buffalo & Erie County
Kathleen and Joe Thill
                                   Miriam Becker                         in helping us make a difference for people
Barbara Utter
                                   Genevieve Geibel in memory of            with mental illness and their families
                                   Larry Geibel                                             Mail to:
NAMI Patrons $70 - $99
                                   Susan Jesella in honor of Keith            NAMl in Buffalo & Erie County
Marian & John Swanekamp
                                   Jesella                                   302 Parkhurst Blvd. Buffalo, NY 14223
                                   Patricia McNary in honor of Gina   Name___________________________________________
NAMI Partners $40 - $69
Jeet Bhatia                        M. Smith
                                   The Muehlbauer Family in           Address_________________________________________
Louise Brown
Monika and David Feinberg          memory of Joan
                                   Bryan Taylor in honor of my        City________________        State______ Zip____________
Dr. & Mrs. James Glogowski
Duane & Kathy Harris               mother, Marie
                                                                      Phone____________________
Karen Maricle
Mickey & Joe Rugnetta              NAMI Friends
                                   Jane Goldfield                     E-Mail__________________________________
David Stebbins & Elizabeth
Taylor in honor of John DeSantis   James & Mary Kirkland in
                                   memory of Miriam Becker            K Benefactor $100 -$250
New and Renewing Members           J.H. & C.A. Lipson in memory of
                                   Miriam Becker                      K Patron $75 - $99
Jan Ables-Register
                                                                      K Sustaining Member $50 - $74
Angela Alfieri
                                                                      K Family Membership $30
Victoria Besseghini
                                                                      K Individual Membership $25
Jo-an Campbell
                                                                      K Consumer Membership $12
Elaine Chamberlin
Jeff & Rosemary Donnelly                                              ________Donation K In Memory of              K In Honor of
Christine Douds                                                       ______________________________________________



                                   Please Remember
Daniel Dosch & Susan Ferro
                                                                      K Please keep my membership/contribution anonymous.
Dosch                                                                 If you also want to be a member of NAMl New York State, add
Katherine Fendya


                                         NAMI
                                                                      $3.00 to your membership dues. If you want to be a member of
Hon. Thomas (Tim) Franczyk                                            the National NAMl, add $10.00 to your dues.
Diane Graziano


                                         Buffalo
Michael Harrison, PhD                                                 No one will be denied membership due to financial hardship. If
                                                                      you are on a limited, fixed income, contact Mary at 832.4035
Ken & Carol Heavern                                                   I'd like to help with the following:


                                           &
Eileen & Kevin Herr                                                   K Fund Raising K Office & Clerical              K Phone Tree
Margaret D. Hickey                                                    K Legislative Advocacy K Speakers Bureau


                                      Erie County
Shamin Iyoob                                                          Other__________________________________________
Diane Kasprzyk                                                                        I'd like to be put on the phone tree to receive
Norma Kitzmiller                                                                 legislative or other alerts. KYes K No


                                      in your Will
Linda Lipp                                                                       Please send a copy of this Newsletter to:
Rosalie Manzella                                                      _______________________________________________
Kathy Olsen
                                                                      _______________________________________________
Kathy Pellica
Ted & Joan Podkul                                                     _______________________________________________
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Rose Marie Rose                                                                Memberships, contributions, and donations
Gordon Schroeder                                                                         are tax deductible.
          (cont’d)

                                                                                                                                        11
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Courage is not limited to the battlefield or to the Indianapolis 500 or bravely catching a
thief in your house. The real tests of courage are much deeper and much quieter. They
are the inner tests, like remaining faithful when nobody’s looking, like enduring pain
when the room is empty, like standing alone when you’re misunderstood, like fighting for
what is right even if you know you are going to lose.
           Charles R. Swindoll, “Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life”

				
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