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Major brain similarities found in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia

Date:
August 26, 2011
Source:
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI)
Summary:
Researchers have conducted a study which has found striking brain similarities in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
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Researchers from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) and Beaumont Hospital have conducted a study which has found striking brain similarities in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. The research has also pinpointed for the first time that a process which controls how information is transmitted from neuron to neuron in the brain is altered in both conditions and may potentially contribute to the developments of improved treatments in the future.

The study was the first to look at sub-regions in the part of the brain known as the hippocampus. Abnormalities in the hippocampus are among the most consistent findings in schizophrenia research and are also implicated in bipolar disorder. Certain areas of the hippocampus (cornu ammonis regions 2 and 3) were found to be different, in terms of how their proteins are affected, in people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder compared to the general population. The differences observed in these regions were found to be almost identical in both conditions. A process which controls how information is transmitted by the shuttling of proteins to and from the synapse (a junction that permits a neuron to pass a signal to another cell) was also found to be is affected in both illnesses.

Professor David Cotter, Department of Psychiatry, RCSI and Beaumont Hospital commented: "Our study is the first to show the depth of protein similarities between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder as they appear in the brain and the processes associated with them. Although, the two conditions present with different symptoms, the research has shown that they are almost identical in terms of how they present in the brain," Professor Cotter concluded.


Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Melanie Föcking, Patrick Dicker, Jane A. English, K. Oliver Schubert, Michael J. Dunn, David R. Cotter. Common Proteomic Changes in the Hippocampus in Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder and Particular Evidence for Involvement of Cornu Ammonis Regions 2 and 3. Archives of General Psychiatry, 68 (5): 477-88

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Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). "Major brain similarities found in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110825090236.htm>.
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). (2011, August 26). Major brain similarities found in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110825090236.htm
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). "Major brain similarities found in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110825090236.htm (accessed August 29, 2015).

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