Houston Matters

Why Mental Health Advocates Want Schizophrenia Reclassified As A Brain Disease

A Houston professor of psychiatry is among those lobbying Congress for the change. He explains why.

Schizophrenia Definition


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Congress is back in session, and so are the people trying to persuade lawmakers why their special interests deserve support. Lobbyists representing industries from pharmaceuticals to oil and gas are making their case on Capitol Hill.

And, according to an article published in Politico last week, mental health advocates are no exception. Some are asking Congress to reclassify schizophrenia as a brain disease, instead of as a mental disorder as it is now.

Advocates say making such a change could mean more funding for research and increased access to treatments that aren't always covered by insurance.

Dr. Raymond Cho is helping lead the charge. He’s a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Baylor College of Medicine and serves as the national chair of the Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America (SARDAA).

In the audio above, Dr. Cho explains why he's lobbying Congress for this reclassification and how it could affect patients.

Dr. Raymond Cho, Baylor College of Medicine
Dr. Raymond Cho is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Baylor College of Medicine.