Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Children at risk for schizophrenia show disordered brain networks Wayne State finds

14.03.2012
A team of neuroscientists led by a Wayne State University School of Medicine professor has discovered stark developmental differences in brain network function in children of parents with schizophrenia when compared to those with no family history of mental illness.

The study, led by Vaibhav Diwadkar, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences and co-director of the Division of Brain Research and Imaging Neuroscience, was published in the March 2012 issue of the American Medical Association journal Archives of General Psychiatry and is titled, "Disordered Corticolimbic Interactions During Affective Processing in Children and Adolescents at Risk for Schizophrenia Revealed by Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Dynamic Causal Modeling."

The results provide significant insight into plausible origins of schizophrenia in terms of dysfunctional brain networks in adolescence, demonstrate sophisticated analyses of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data and clarify the understanding of developmental mechanisms in normal versus vulnerable brains. The resulting information can provide unique information to psychiatrists.

The study took place over three years, using MRI equipment at Harper University Hospital in Detroit. Using fMRI the researchers studied brain function in young individuals (8 to 20 years of age) as they observed pictures of human faces depicting positive, negative and neutral emotional expressions. Participants were recruited from the metropolitan Detroit area. Because children of patients are at highly increased risk for psychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia, the team was interested in studying brain network function associated with emotional processing and the relevance of impaired network function as a potential predictor for schizophrenia.

To investigate brain networks, the researchers applied advanced analyses techniques to the fMRI data to investigate how brain regions dynamically communicate with each other. The study demonstrated that children at risk for the illness are characterized by reduced network communication and disordered network responses to emotional faces. This suggests that brain developmental processes are going awry in children whose parents have schizophrenia, suggesting this is a subgroup of interest to watch in future longitudinal studies.

"Brain network dysfunction associated with emotional processing is a potential predictor for the onset of emotional problems that may occur later in life and that are in turn associated with illnesses like schizophrenia," Diwadkar said. "If you clearly demonstrate there is something amiss in how the brain functions in children, there is something you can do about it. And that's what we're interested in."

The results don't show whether schizophrenia will eventually develop in the subjects. "It doesn't mean that they have it, or that they will have it," he said.

"The kids we studied were perfectly normal if you looked at them," he said. "By using functional brain imaging we are trying to get underneath behavior."

"We are able to do this because we can investigate dynamic changes in brain network function by assessing changes in the fMRI signal. This allowed us to capture dramatic differences in how regions in the brain network are interacting with each other," he said.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, schizophrenia affects men and women with equal frequency, but generally manifests in men in their late teens or early 20s, and in women in their late 20s or early 30s.

Diwadkar worked with Wayne State medical student Sunali Wadehra, M.A., and colleagues at Harvard Medical School and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Global collaborator Simon Eickhoff, Dr.Med., of Research Center Jülich and the Institute of Clinical Neuroscience and Medical Psychology at Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf, in Germany, also provided significant insight.

Wayne State University is one of the nation's pre-eminent public research universities in an urban setting. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and throughout the world. For more information about research at Wayne State University, visit http://www.research.wayne.edu

Julie O'Connor | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wayne.edu
http://www.research.wayne.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Laser activated gold pyramids could deliver drugs, DNA into cells without harm
24.03.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

nachricht What does congenital Zika syndrome look like?
24.03.2017 | University of California - San Diego

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>