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Medical Health Aged Care, Mental Health

Monash experts: World Schizophrenia Awareness Day 2024

Monash University 3 mins read
Brain image, supplied by Monash

Friday 24 May is World Schizophrenia Awareness Day, an annual day dedicated to raising awareness of the severe mental health condition that affects over 20 million people worldwide. 

Schizophrenia is a complex brain condition which can be challenging to treat. Experts from Monash University are available for comment.

Professor Chris Langmead, Director of the Neuromedicines Discovery Centre, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Contact details: +61 447 822 659 (Media Manager, Kate Carthew) or media@monash.edu 

Read more of Professor Langmead’s commentary at Monash Lens

  • The stigma and daily struggle associated with living with schizophrenia. 

  • There are currently no effective treatments on the market for certain symptoms of schizophrenia.

  • However, breakthroughs in recent years could offer new hope.

  • Australia urgently needs to invest in research leading to the development of new, safe, effective and accessible medical treatments for schizophrenia.

The following quotes can be attributed to Professor Langmead:

“The stigma and daily struggle that comes with living with schizophrenia can lead to chronic despair, hopelessness and a lost sense of self-worth, whilst also having a significant impact on families, carers and places of work. At the same time, the development of new medical treatments for schizophrenia has remained stagnant for more than 50 years - there is an urgent need for change.

“We urgently need new precision medicines for schizophrenia that are much more effective than current drugs and also much better tolerated. An emerging and exciting example of this is a new drug in Phase 3 clinical trials in the US for the treatment of schizophrenia and psychosis in Alzheimer’s disease - medicines like this can also be developed in Australia, with the right investment.

“It's critical medical treatment options for people living with schizophrenia dramatically improve. With world-leading researchers across drug development, psychiatry, psychology and public health,  Australia is well-placed to be at the forefront of this field.”

Professor Jayashri Kulkarni AM, Professor of Psychiatry and Director HER Centre Australia, Monash University Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Contact details: +61 3 9903 4840 or media@monash.edu
Read more of Professor Kulkarni’s commentary at Monash Lens

  • Improving mental illness treatments

  • The relationship between hormones and mental illness in women

  • Menopause and mental illness

  • Women’s mental health

The following can be attributed to Professor Kulkarni:
“Women with schizophrenia and related conditions need special gender focussed services to provide tailored care that includes safe, private hospital facilities and appropriate medications. Special attention is needed for women with schizophrenia during pregnancy, the postnatal period and during the menopause transition, since these hormonal life events can adversely impact mental health.”

Professor Suresh Sundram, Chair of Psychiatry, Monash University, Head of the Translational Molecular Psychiatry Program and Director of Research, Mental Health Program, Monash Health.
Contact details: +61 3 9903 4840 or media@monash.edu
Available: Monday-Tuesday May 20-21
Read more of Professor Sundram’s commentary at Monash Lens

  • Schizophrenia

  • How schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders manifest

  • Latest treatment approaches

The following can be attributed to Professor Sundram:
“Schizophrenia remains one of the most severe and disabling disorders globally with a suicide rate 12 times that of the general population. Much of this is due to medicines that are old, only partially symptomatic, and often toxic and ineffective. There is a desperate need for new effective disease-modifying treatments. This can only be achieved through understanding the biological causes of schizophrenia and requires intensive research and investment.”

Associate Professor Rachel Hill, Head of the Monash University Department of Psychiatry Behavioural Neuroscience Laboratory
Contact details: +61 3 9903 4840 or media@monash.edu
Available: Monday-Tuesday May 20-21

  • Understanding the biology of schizophrenia

  • Discovery of new treatment targets

The following can be attributed to Associate Professor Hill:

"Schizophrenia is a disorder of the brain and as such needs to be treated with compassion and understanding. There is a desperate need for better resources to support those living with this very frightening illness. Furthermore, dedicated investment into discovery research to better understand what is happening in the brains of people with schizophrenia will improve treatment outcomes."

For more Monash media stories visit our news & events site: monash.edu/news
For any other topics on which you may be seeking expert comment, contact the Monash University Media Unit on +61 3 9903 4840 or media@monash.edu

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