Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Brain development goes off track as vulnerable individuals develop schizophrenia

Date:
May 11, 2011
Source:
Elsevier
Summary:
Two new research studies point to progressive abnormalities in brain development that emerge as vulnerable individuals develop schizophrenia.

Two new research studies published in Biological Psychiatry point to progressive abnormalities in brain development that emerge as vulnerable individuals develop schizophrenia.

The first of these papers studied individuals with a deletion of a small section of chromosome 22. This genetic deletion often results in the development of abnormalities in the structure of the heart and of the face, a condition called velocardiofacial syndrome (VCFS; also known as 22q11.2 deletion syndrome). Up to 32% of people with VCFS develop psychotic disorders including schizophrenia, which occurs in 1% of the general population.

Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Dr. Wendy Kates and her colleagues showed that during adolescence, progressive deficits in the volume of the temporal cortex gray matter were predictive of developing psychosis.

"Our findings suggest that in VCFS, brain changes during mid-adolescence, particularly in the temporal lobe, predict early signs of psychosis," said Dr. Kates. "This suggests that it may be possible, eventually, to develop a screening tool that would identify those VCFS-affected youth who are at the highest risk for schizophrenia."

In another paper, Dr. Andrew McIntosh and colleagues report a similar pattern among adolescents and young adults who were followed over a 10 year period. All of the young people were well at the beginning of the study, but some were at high genetic risk of developing schizophrenia due to having family members with schizophrenia.

"The participants were examined repeatedly by a psychiatrist and with structural brain scans to see if there were changes in brain structure in people who later became unwell," explained Dr. McIntosh. "At the end of the study, we found that there were accelerated reductions in the volume of particular brain structures in the people at high risk, and additional reductions in the volume of the frontal lobes in those people who later developed schizophrenia."

These two studies highlight the existence of progressive changes in brain structure related to the emergence of symptoms among individuals at risk for developing schizophrenia.

"These studies cannot define the specific changes at the cellular level and thus, we are limited in our capacity to make precise predictions based on these MRI data," commented Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry. "However, the findings suggest that schizophrenia is not simply a 'scar' but rather an ongoing brain process that might need to reach an as yet unclear stage where symptoms emerge. That being the case, there is hope that someday one might develop treatments that block this 'disease process' as we have been able to do for some other heritable brain diseases."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Wendy R. Kates, Kevin M. Antshel, Stephen V. Faraone, Wanda P. Fremont, Anne Marie Higgins, Robert J. Shprintzen, Jo-Anna Botti, Lauren Kelchner, Christopher McCarthy. Neuroanatomic Predictors to Prodromal Psychosis in Velocardiofacial Syndrome (22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome): A Longitudinal Study. Biological Psychiatry, 2010; DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2010.10.027
  2. Andrew M. McIntosh, David C. Owens, William J. Moorhead, Heather C. Whalley, Andrew C. Stanfield, Jeremy Hall, Eve C. Johnstone, Stephen M. Lawrie. Longitudinal Volume Reductions in People at High Genetic Risk of Schizophrenia as They Develop Psychosis. Biological Psychiatry, 2011; 69 (10): 953 DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2010.11.003

Cite This Page:

Elsevier. "Brain development goes off track as vulnerable individuals develop schizophrenia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110511104519.htm>.
Elsevier. (2011, May 11). Brain development goes off track as vulnerable individuals develop schizophrenia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110511104519.htm
Elsevier. "Brain development goes off track as vulnerable individuals develop schizophrenia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110511104519.htm (accessed August 23, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins