Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Altered brain activity responsible for cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia

Date:
March 20, 2013
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
Cognitive problems with memory and behavior experienced by individuals with schizophrenia are linked with changes in brain activity; however, it is difficult to test whether these changes are the underlying cause or consequence of these symptoms. By altering the brain activity in mice to mimic the activity seen in patients with schizophrenia, researchers reporting in the journal Neuron reveal that these changes in regional brain activity cause similar cognitive problems in otherwise normal mice.

Cognitive problems with memory and behavior experienced by individuals with schizophrenia are linked with changes in brain activity; however, it is difficult to test whether these changes are the underlying cause or consequence of these symptoms. By altering the brain activity in mice to mimic the decrease in activity seen in patients with schizophrenia, researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Neuron on March 20 reveal that these changes in regional brain activity cause similar cognitive problems in otherwise normal mice. This direct demonstration of the link between changes in brain activity and the behaviors associated with schizophrenia could alter how the disease is treated.

Related Articles


"We artificially decreased activity of the mediodorsal thalamus region of the brain in the mouse and found that it is sufficient to lead to deficits in working memory and other schizophrenia-like cognitive deficits," says senior author Dr. Christoph Kellendonk of Columbia University in New York City. "Our findings further suggest that decreased thalamic activity interferes with cognition by disrupting communication between the thalamus and the prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain that has already been shown to be important for working memory," he added.

The researchers made their discovery by giving mice a drug that decreased activity selectively in the mediodorsal thalamus region of the brain. They then tested the animals in various cognitive tasks involving levers and mazes. The investigators found that even a subtle decrease in the activity of the mediodorsal thalamus led to altered connectivity between this brain region and the prefrontal cortex region and that the altered connectivity was associated with a variety of cognitive impairments experienced by patients with schizophrenia.

The findings likely apply to humans because patients with schizophrenia have decreased thalamic activity as well as altered connectivity between the thalamus and the prefrontal cortex. "Our work suggests that these two findings may be linked," explains co-senior author Dr. Joshua Gordon, also of Columbia University. "One next step would be to examine this relationship in patients. For example, one could ask whether deficits in thalamic activity and connectivity between the thalamus and prefrontal cortex are correlated with each other."

Cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia include problems with memory and behavioral flexibility, two processes that are essential for activities of daily living. These symptoms are resistant to current treatments, but this study's findings provide new information for the design of potentially more effective therapies that target the neuronal mechanisms underlying patients' cognitive problems.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Sebastien Parnaudeau, Pia-Kelsey O’Neill, ScottS. Bolkan, RyanD. Ward, AtheirI. Abbas, BryanL. Roth, Peter D. Balsam, JoshuaA. Gordon, Christoph Kellendonk. Inhibition of Mediodorsal Thalamus Disrupts Thalamofrontal Connectivity and Cognition. Neuron, 2013; 77 (6): 1151 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2013.01.038

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Altered brain activity responsible for cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130320135919.htm>.
Cell Press. (2013, March 20). Altered brain activity responsible for cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130320135919.htm
Cell Press. "Altered brain activity responsible for cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130320135919.htm (accessed January 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) More schools are using online classes to keep from losing time to snow days, but it only works if students have Internet access at home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

BuzzFeed (Jan. 24, 2015) Did you back it up? Do you even know how to do that? Video provided by BuzzFeed
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

RightThisMinute (Jan. 23, 2015) Not only is Kathy seeing her newborn son for the first time, but this is actually the first time she has ever seen a baby. Kathy and her sister, Yvonne, have been legally blind since childhood, but thanks to an amazing new technology, eSight glasses, which gives those who are legally blind the ability to see, she got the chance to see the birth of her son. It&apos;s an incredible moment and an even better story. Video provided by RightThisMinute
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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