What processes tip the balance between the ultra-high risk states and the development of schizophrenia? One candidate mechanism is cerebral inflammation, studied by Dr. Bart van Berckel and colleagues in the November 1st issue of Biological Psychiatry.
Using positron emission tomography, or PET, imaging, the researchers provide evidence of a brain inflammatory state that may be associated with the development of schizophrenia. The authors reported increased binding levels of [11C]PK11195, a radiotracer with high affinity for the peripheral benzodiazepine receptor (PBR) in patients who had carried the diagnosis of schizophrenia for five years or less.
PBR is a molecular target that is present at higher levels in activated microglia. Microglia are activated during inflammatory states. Drs. van Berckel and Kahn further explain: “It was found that microglia activation is present in schizophrenia patients early after disease onset, suggesting brain cells are damaged in schizophrenia. In addition, since microglia can have either a protective or a toxic role, activated microglia may be the result, but also the cause of damage to brain cells.”
John H. Krystal, M.D., Editor of Biological Psychiatry and affiliated with both Yale University School of Medicine and the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, adds, “It will be important to understand whether this process takes place in a special way in association with the first onset of symptoms or whether inflammation is more generally a process that contributes to worsening of symptoms.”
Because this data suggests that inflammation may contribute to features of the early course of schizophrenia, a new potential avenue of treatment for schizophrenia may be to use anti-inflammatory agents. Although some anti-inflammatory medications have already been studied, with limited success, in schizophrenia patients, a new generation of these drugs that more specifically target activated microglia have yet to be explored.
Jayne Dawkins | alfa
Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified
20.02.2017 | Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan
Prospect for more effective treatment of nerve pain
20.02.2017 | Universität Zürich
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
20.02.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine
20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine