Navigation Links
Alterations in brain's white matter key to schizophrenia, UCLA study shows
Date:6/22/2009

Schizophrenia, a chronic and debilitating disorder marked in part by auditory hallucinations and paranoia, can strike in late adolescence or early adulthood at a time when people are ready to stand on their own two feet as fully independent adults.

Now scientists at UCLA think they are beginning to understand one important piece of this puzzle. In the first study of its kind, the researchers used a novel form of brain imaging to discover that white matter in the brains of adolescents at risk of developing schizophrenia does not develop at the same rate as healthy people. Further, the extent of these alterations can be used to predict how badly patients will or will not deteriorate functionally over time.

Reporting in the online edition of the journal Biological Psychiatry, lead author Katherine Karlsgodt, a postdoctoral fellow in UCLA's Department of Psychology, and senior authors Tyrone Cannon and Carrie Bearden, professors at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, focused on the brain's white matter which forms the major connections between different brain regions because it is known that white matter is disrupted in people who already have schizophrenia.

"We found that healthy subjects showed a normal and expected increase in measures indexing white matter integrity in the temporal lobe as they age," said Karlsgodt, "but young people at high-risk for psychosis showed no such increase that is, they fail to show the normal developmental pattern."

While there is growing evidence that schizophrenics show changes in white matter, and there is increasing evidence that white matter connectivity may be highly relevant to the development of psychosis, there is very little known about how these changes arise, said Karlsgodt. Historically, looking at white matter has been hard to do. But in recent years, she said, researchers have begun to use a relatively new technique, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) that uses the movement of water molecules along white matter tracts to map out the brain's pathways. In the last few years, these techniques have been applied to research schizophrenia and other disorders.

The researchers studied a control group of 25 healthy individuals and 36 teens and young adults, aged 12 to 26, at very high risk for developing schizophrenia, and followed them over a two-year period. The adolescents were identified as high risk due to genetic factors (i.e., being close relatives of someone with schizophrenia), or because they showed very early clinical symptoms of the disease. All of the subjects underwent a DTI scan at the start of the trial, along with clinical and functional assessments. Follow-up assessments of clinical and functional outcome were done at different periods over the next two years.

Failing to find a normal increase in white matter integrity over time in the at-risk subjects, said Karlsgodt, "suggests there is a fundamental difference in how typically developing young people and high-risk adolescents develop during this period right before the disease would be expected to manifest. Something may go awry with the developmental process during this period that might contribute to the onset of the disorder."

The other important finding, she said, was that by looking at white matter integrity in the temporal lobe at people's first appointment, "we could predict how well they would be functioning 15 months later at work, school and home.

"This is a very exciting finding, because it means we might be closer to being able to identify people who will need more or different treatments in the future, so that we can get them the help they need."


'/>"/>

Contact: Mark Wheeler
mwheeler@mednet.ucla.edu
310-794-2265
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Gene alterations associated with response to anthracycline therapy for breast cancer
2. Baylor Dallas Opens Nations First Neurosurgical OR Suite Featuring BrainSUITE iMRI, GE Healthcare MR Surgical Technology
3. Singing brains offers epilepsy and schizophrenia clues
4. Games for Health Conference Announces First Cognitive Health Track Powered by SharpBrains
5. Binge Drinking May Damage Teens Brains
6. Accumulated Lead May Affect Older Womens Brains
7. Musicians Brains Tuned to Emotions in Sound
8. Thrill-Seekers Brains May Be Wired Differently
9. Cutting Calories May Boost Aging Brains
10. The worlds best brains descend on Canberra
11. Omega-3 Fatty Acid May Help Preemie Girls Brains
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... NC (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and ... to be personalized through a fitness app. The fitness app plans to fix the two ... currently only offer a one size fits all type program , They don’t ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a ... new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a ... occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten out of ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for ... is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may suffer from a complex set ... drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To avoid this pain and suffering, ... traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a range of emotions, from depression, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced that 20 ... by their peers for this recognition are considered among the top 2 percent of ... honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: Miami Shareholders ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Research and Markets ... Market - Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... method for the patients with kidney failure, it replaces the ... from the patient,s blood and thus the treatment helps to ... chloride in balance. Increasing number of ESRD ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...  In a startling report released today, National Safety Council ... a comprehensive, proven plan to eliminate prescription opioid overdoses. ... states are tackling the worst drug crisis in recorded U.S. history, ... Kentucky , New Mexico , ... the 28 failing states, three – Michigan , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... LOS ANGELES , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... (NASDAQ: CAPR ), a biotechnology company ... first-in-class therapeutics, today announced that patient enrollment in ... progrEssion in Duchenne) has exceeded 50% of its ... its enrollment in the third quarter of 2016, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: