Navigation Links
Sniffing out schizophrenia
Date:4/29/2013

A debilitating mental illness, schizophrenia can be difficult to diagnose. Because physiological evidence confirming the disease can only be gathered from the brain during an autopsy, mental health professionals have had to rely on a battery of psychological evaluations to diagnose their patients.

Now, Dr. Noam Shomron and Prof. Ruth Navon of Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine, together with PhD student Eyal Mor from Dr. Shomron's lab and Prof. Akira Sawa of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, have discovered a method for physical diagnosis by collecting tissue from the nose through a simple biopsy. Surprisingly, collecting and sequencing neurons from the nose may lead to "more sure-fire" diagnostic capabilities than ever before, Dr. Shomron says.

This finding, which was reported in the journal Neurobiology of Disease, could not only lead to a more accurate diagnosis, it may also permit the crucial, early detection of the disease, giving rise to vastly improved treatment overall.

From the nose to diagnosis

Until now, biomarkers for schizophrenia had only been found in the neuron cells of the brain, which can't be collected before death. By that point it's obviously too late to do the patient any good, says Dr. Shomron. Instead, psychiatrists depend on psychological evaluations for diagnosis, including interviews with the patient and reports by family and friends.

For a solution to this diagnostic dilemma, the researchers turned to the olfactory system, which includes neurons located on the upper part of the inner nose. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University collected samples of olfactory neurons from patients diagnosed with schizophrenia and a control group of non-affected individuals, then sent them to Dr. Shomron's TAU lab.

Dr. Shomron and his fellow researchers applied a high-throughput technology to these samples, studying the microRNA of the olfactory neurons. Within these molecules, which help to regulate our genetic code, they were able to identify a microRNA which is highly elevated in those with schizophrenia, compared to individuals who do not have the disease.

"We were able to narrow down the microRNA to a differentially expressed set, and from there down to a specific microRNA which is elevated in individuals with the disease compared to healthy individuals," explains Dr. Shomron. Further research revealed that this particular microRNA controls genes associated with the generation of neurons.

In practice, material for biopsy could be collected through a quick and easy outpatient procedure, using a local anesthetic, says Dr. Shomron. And with microRNA profiling results ready in a matter of hours, this method could evolve into a relatively simple and accurate test to diagnose a very complicated illness.

Early detection, early intervention

Though there is much more to investigate, Dr. Shomron has high hopes for this diagnostic method. It's important to determine whether this alteration in microRNA expression begins before schizophrenic symptoms begin to exhibit themselves, or only after the disease fully develops, he says. If this change comes near the beginning of the timeline, it could be invaluable for early diagnostics. This would mean early intervention, better treatment, and possibly even the postponement of symptoms.

If, for example, a person has a family history of schizophrenia, this test could reveal whether they too suffer from the disease. And while such advanced warning doesn't mean a cure is on the horizon, it will help both patient and doctor identify and prepare for the challenges ahead.


'/>"/>

Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Sniffing out the side effects of radiotherapy may soon be possible
2. Genes Associated With Autism Also Related to Schizophrenia
3. Antipsychotics Do Help Many With Schizophrenia, Study Finds
4. Fewer suicides after antidepressive treatment for schizophrenia
5. Feinstein Institute to receive grant to improve schizophrenia treatment
6. Feinstein Institute to Receive Grant from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to Improve Schizophrenia Treatment
7. Family History of Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder May Up Kids Risk for Autism
8. Mount Sinai finds common factors in autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder
9. Using biomarkers to identify and treat schizophrenia
10. Schizophrenia in Movies: Dont Believe Everything You See
11. Older Dads May Raise Risk for Autism, Schizophrenia in Kids
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:7/23/2017)... ... 23, 2017 , ... Better education to coaches and parents ... work today at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’ s ... to prospectively document the association between sports specialization and lower extremity injuries in ...
(Date:7/23/2017)... ... July 23, 2017 , ... “Squiggy’s Outdoor Adventure”: a turtle’s backyard ... the creation of published author, Paula Christian, a wife and mother to three amazing, ... family, who center their lives on God. She loves to tell stories to ...
(Date:7/21/2017)... ... , ... "As a doctor of lung medicine managing chest diseases for more ... said an inventor from Center Valley, Pa. "My idea is to improve the device ... the patent-pending PLEURAL SAFE-t-STAT CATHETER KIT to offer an efficient means of draining pleural ...
(Date:7/21/2017)... ... July 21, 2017 , ... The Karen Miller Agency, a ... in the greater Birmingham area, is joining the Chris Hammond Youth Foundation in ... the region. , The Chris Hammond Youth Foundation maintains athletic facilities in rural ...
(Date:7/21/2017)... ... July 21, 2017 , ... Bernard R. Bach, Jr., MD, orthopaedic surgeon at ... Orthopaedic Society of Sports Medicine (AOSSM) , received the 2017 Robert E. Leach Sports ... Toronto, Canada. This prestigious award is given annually to honor those who have made ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:7/14/2017)... 13, 2017 It should come as no surprise ... is in the midst of a crippling opioid epidemic. According ... the number of overdose deaths from opiate-based medications has quadrupled, ... a million dead from 2001 to 2015". During this time, ... has similarly quadrupled, drawing a compelling link between prescription and ...
(Date:7/13/2017)... 2017 RK Logistics Group, Inc. was awarded ... its Fremont, CA headquarters facility where ... and San Jose for hi-tech, pharmaceutical ... , with its Fremont Innovation District, is excited to ... powerful resource to the hundreds of biotech, pharma and biomed ...
(Date:7/12/2017)... -- CarpalAID is a revolutionary new product that relieves painful carpal ... tunnel syndrome affects more than 8 million people a year. Women ... The common methods of treating CTS are painful surgery, the use ... gloves. ... CarpalAID is a clear patch worn on the palm of the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: