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Inflammation and cognition in schizophrenia
Date:11/1/2012

Philadelphia, PA, November 1, 2012 There are a growing number of clues that immune and inflammatory mechanisms are important for the biology of schizophrenia. In a new study in Biological Psychiatry, Dr. Mar Fatj-Vilas and colleagues explored the impact of the interleukin-1β gene (IL1β) on brain function alterations associated with schizophrenia.

Fatj-Vilas said that "this study is a contribution to the relatively new field of 'functional imaging genetics' which appears to be potentially powerful for the study of schizophrenia, where genetic factors are of established importance and cognitive impairment affecting particularly executive function and long-term memory is increasingly recognized as a core feature of the disorder."

To conduct this study, they recruited patients with schizophrenia and healthy volunteers, all of whom completed a working memory task while undergoing a functional magnetic resonance imaging scan in the laboratory. This allowed the researchers to determine which areas of the brain became activated during the task. Each participant was also genotyped to determine which allelic combination of the -511C/T polymorphism at the promoter region of the IL1β gene they carry: CC, TT, or CT.

Patients who were homozygous for the C allele (CC) showed reduced prefrontal cortex activation associated with working memory than patients who had at least one copy of the T allele. Among the healthy volunteers, frontal brain activation did not differ according to genotype.

"The analyzed genetic variant exerts an influence on prefrontal cortex function and this influence is different in healthy subjects and patients with schizophrenia," summarized Fatj-Vilas.

An important issue is that the -511C/T seems to have a role in regulating the levels of IL1B expression, in which case it would influence neuronal activity dependent on the protein availability. This means that the T allele has been r
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Contact: Rhiannon Bugno
Biol.Psych@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-0880
Elsevier
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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