Navigation Links
Using biomarkers to identify and treat schizophrenia
Date:7/11/2012

In the current online issue of PLoS ONE, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine say they have identified a set of laboratory-based biomarkers that can be useful for understanding brain-based abnormalities in schizophrenia. The measurements, known as endophenotypes, could ultimately be a boon to clinicians who sometimes struggle to recognize and treat the complex and confounding mental disorder.

"A major problem in psychiatry is that there are currently no laboratory tests that aid in diagnosis, guide treatment decisions or help predict treatment response or outcomes," said Gregory A. Light, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry and the study's first author. "Diagnoses are currently based on a clinician's ability to make inferences about patients' inner experiences."

Diagnosing and treating schizophrenia is a particularly troubling challenge. The disorder, which affects about 1 percent of the U.S. population or roughly 3 million people, is characterized by a breakdown of normal thought processes and erratic, sometimes dangerous or harmful, behaviors.

"Schizophrenia is among the most severe and disabling conditions across all categories of medicine," said Light, who also directs the Mental Illness, Research, Education and Clinical Center at the San Diego VA Healthcare System.

The precise cause or causes of schizophrenia are not known, though there is a clear genetic component, with the disorder more common in some families.

Clinicians typically diagnose schizophrenia based upon inferences drawn from the patient's inner experiences. That is, their ability to describe what's happening inside their minds.

"But even the best clinicians struggle with diagnostic complexities based on sometimes fuzzy clinical phenomenology," said Light. The clinical challenge is compounded by the fact that "many schizophrenia patients have cognitive and functional impairments," said Light. They may not be able to reasonably explain how or what they think.

Light and colleagues investigated whether a select battery of neurophysiological and neurocognitive biomarkers could provide clinicians with reliable, accurate, long-term indicators of brain dysfunction, even when overt symptoms of the disorder were not apparent. These markers ranged from tests of attention and memory to physiological assessments of basic perceptual processes using scalp sensors to measure brain responses to simple sounds.

The researchers measured the biomarkers in 550 schizophrenia patients, and then re-tested 200 of the patients one year later. They found that most of the markers were significantly abnormal in schizophrenia patients, were relatively stable between the assessments and were not affected by modest fluctuations in clinical status of the patient.

Light said further research is required, including whether the endophenotypes can differentiate other psychiatric disorders, be used to anticipate patient response to different kinds of drugs or non-pharmacological interventions or even be used to predict which subjects are at high risk of developing a psychotic illness.

"We believe this paper is an important step towards validating laboratory-based biomarkers for use in future genomic and clinical treatment studies of schizophrenia," Light said.


'/>"/>
Contact: Scott LaFee
slafee@ucsd.edu
619-543-6163
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. MU receives national award for using mind-body approach to improve health
2. More Teen Girls Using Contraceptives: CDC
3. Using Earplugs Eases ICU Patients Confusion: Study
4. 16 years old is peak risk for teens misusing prescription drugs
5. Kids Most Likely to Start Abusing Painkillers at 16: Study
6. Breathing during radiotherapy - how to hit the treatment target without causing collateral damage
7. Report using private health claims data shows prices are driving health spending growth
8. Type of viral infection of eye associated with disease causing blindness in the elderly
9. Hepatitis C Causing Liver Damage in Greater Numbers: Study
10. Pivotal role for proteins -- from helping turn carbs into energy to causing devastating disease
11. Population displacement during disasters predicted using mobile data
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... February 11, 2016 , ... Student-doctors from Western University ... Match Program Tuesday, February 9, taking one of the final steps in their ... education positions across the country. Of the 103 student-doctors who comprise the College ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... Nashville, TN (PRWEB) , ... February 11, 2016 , ... ... commercial cleaning business to a new market, and it’s the buildings of Nashville that ... much that when I needed to relocate to Nashville, there was no question that ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... February 11, 2016 , ... Thermi™, a ... is pleased to announce the promotions of Allison Kelly to executive vice president ... to executive vice president of North American capital sales, and Wendy Oseas to ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 11, 2016 , ... ... ?" motivational speaker, trainer and author Ray Clarke poses a question as a ... fulfillment . In his book, "Being in the Being" (published by Partridge Singapore), ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... , ... February 11, 2016 , ... ... updated its hallmark resource, Infusion Therapy Standards of Practice, to include vascular visualization ... illumination with an estimated 85% share of the market, facilitates adherence to this ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... SAN FRANCISCO , Feb. 11, 2016 Potrero ... system, is pleased to announce the appointment of George ... San Antonio, TX , WellMed is ... servicing over 200,000 patients and HMO members in ... founding WellMed in 1990 out of his own internal medicine ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... 2016  AfterPill.com is reporting that this week,s Centers ... all women who are at risk of unintended pregnancy ... and raises the risks of unprotected sex in particular.  ... According to the Guttmacher Institute, there are 43 million ... age, who have sex without the intention of becoming ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... 11, 2016  Proliant Biologicals is proud to announce ... (BSA) manufacturing facility.  The facility is located on the ... in Feilding. Boone , Iowa.  ... duplicate the systems in the U.S. facility, with critical ... U.S. installations.  --> Boone ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: