Navigation Links
Schizophrenia: It's in the wiring of the brain
Date:9/16/2013

Philadelphia, PA, September 16, 2013 Just as wires must be insulated to effectively carry electrical impulses, nerve cells must be insulated by myelin to effectively transmit neural impulses. Using typical magnetic resonance imaging or MRI, one can visually distinguish parts of the brain that look white and parts that look gray. Myelin is most prevalent in the white matter because this component of the brain tissue is principally comprised by the nerve cell projections (axons) that are covered by myelin and that transmit information from one part of the brain to another.

In a new paper in Biological Psychiatry, Fei Du and colleagues at Harvard Medical School combined two types of brain imaging to characterize abnormalities in the white matter in schizophrenia.

One type of imaging, called magnetic resonance spectroscopy, measures the levels of particular chemicals in the brain. Another approach, called magnetization transfer imaging, is sensitive to changes in the level of myelin in the white matter.

"The notion that the brain in schizophrenia is characterized by abnormalities in connections between distant brain regions is not new, and imaging studies using diffusion tensor imaging have long suggested that the white matter where these connections travel is abnormal in this condition," explained senior author Dr. Dost ngr. "However, we have not had the tools to determine whether the abnormalities are in axons, or the myelin sheath around the axons, or both."

The researchers found evidence for abnormalities in both myelin and axons among patients with schizophrenia, when compared with healthy individuals who underwent the same testing. More specifically, they found reduced myelination of white matter pathways in schizophrenia, and also abnormal diffusion of N-acetylaspartate, a metabolite thought to be predominately localized within nerve cells.

This pattern of results is indicative of abnormalities in information processing and cognitive deficits, which is consistent with what scientists already know about how the brain is impacted by schizophrenia and the symptoms associated with this disorder.

"This study provides new evidence that myelination abnormalities in schizophrenia are associated with disturbances in the functional integrity of the white matter. As the white matter carries long range communication in the brain, the current findings raise new questions about the functional impact and treatment for these neural deficits," said Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry.

These findings are important because they suggest that "the white matter abnormalities in schizophrenia are complex and interconnected", added ngr. "A strategy to impact both axonal health and myelin synthesis may be needed to restore normal white matter functioning in this condition."

Such a strategy to restore abnormal functioning is not likely in the near future, but advances provided by this study and others like it help bring scientists ever closer to that ultimate goal.


'/>"/>

Contact: Rhiannon Bugno
Biol.Psych@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-0880
Elsevier
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Wiring the ocean
2. Wiring bats for neuroscience research
3. Multiple sclerosis appears to originate in different part of brain than long believed
4. Lab-on-a-chip tech, brain mapping & microbiome highlighted at translational med meeting
5. New Brain Supplement Focus Boost Launches, Boosting Alertness, Memory and Focus
6. Finally mapped: The brain region that distinguishes bits from bounty
7. What is the brain telling us about the diagnoses of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder?
8. Discovery helps to unlock brains speech-learning mechanism
9. Learning a new language alters brain development
10. Human brains are hardwired for empathy, friendship, study shows
11. Playing video games can boost brain power
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:8/23/2017)... , Aug. 23, 2017  The general public,s help is being ... microbiome—the bacteria that live in and on the human body –and are ... The Microbiome ... the human microbiome, starting with the gut. The project's goal is to ... Photo credit: IBM ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... LLC , a medical device company focused on improving the safety ... ISO 13485 Certification, the global standard for medical device quality management ... ... for the early detection of IV infiltrations. ... "This is an important milestone for ivWatch, as it validates our ...
(Date:7/20/2017)... , July 20, 2017 Delta (NYSE: DAL ... board any Delta aircraft at Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). ... Delta launches biometrics to ... Delta,s biometric ... Sky Club is now integrated into the boarding process to allow ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/21/2017)... Paramus, New Jersey (PRWEB) , ... September 21, ... ... for highly-regulated pharmaceutical and clinical research sector professionals, has announced the addition of ... CFR Part 11 training - Compliance with Regulation 21 CFR Part 11 ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... ... September 21, 2017 , ... Biorez, ... election of Paul Hermes, Entrepreneur in Residence at Medtronic, Inc., to serve as ... a proprietary, tissue-engineered scaffold for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction that is designed ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... 20, 2017 , ... Diversity focused business accelerator, The Refinery , announced ... to uncover the top technology-driven, women-led startups in Boston, MA, New Haven/Hamden, CT, and ... entrepreneurial events going on that week – in Boston, it will be part of ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... East Hanover, N.J. (PRWEB) , ... ... ... Foundation researchers have recently published findings of a study examining the effects ... and individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI). The article, "Neuromechanical adaptations during ...
Breaking Biology Technology: