Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Awards for two pieces of research on schizophrenia


The Department of Psychiatry at the University Hospital of the University of Navarre has received two awards at the XVII Congress of the European College of Neuropsychcopharmacology, held recently in Stockholm.

The studies awarded deal with the final conclusions of research work carried out by the Department in the field of schizophrenia. They specifically studied the biological bases of the disorder using neuroimaging and genetic study techniques. “It is known that one of the functions observed altered in patients with this ailment is that of attention. We wanted to see, by means of neuroimaging techniques, which regions of the brain might be failing when a person carries out specific tasks which need evermore attention”, explained Dr. Felipe Ortuño, specialist in the Department of Psychiatry at the University Hospital and principal author if this work.

The study compared the cerebral images of 11 healthy people with 11 patients, all subjected to exercise that demanded increasing attention. Using PET with oxygen 15 and the SPM (Statistical Parametric Mapping) image analysis system, the authors came to the conclusion that patients with schizophrenia have a number of dysfunctional areas. It was seen that, in general, they are located in the frontal cortex, such as the anterior limbic cortex and parietal. But, in this research, the involvement of a new area was detected, the supplementary motor area. This is a region which comes into play when tasks of attention aimed at evaluating temporary stimuli are required. When a healthy person is involved in an attention-demanding task, this region is triggered, but in patients with this pathology, the region is not activated with the same intensity. Moreover, it has been observed that, if this function fails, other, superior, functions may also fail. This work has been accepted for publication for the upcoming issue of the prestigious magazine, Neuroimage.

The second work that received an award was part of the PhD thesis of Dr. Patricio Molero studying the genetic aspects of schizophrenia. The role of a gene in the etiology of the schizophrenia was studied; concretely, that of the catecol-o-methyltransferase (COMT) enzyme. The research was undertaken on a sample of 134 patients, wherein it was observed that there was a tendency of specific association of the Val genotype with schizophrenia. His other conclusion was that it would appear that this genotype is associated with a better response from treatment with neuroleptics


Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder which appears in very early stages in life – typically in adolescence or at the beginning of adult life. It is an illness which affects many superior functions: thought (false beliefs appear as deliriums), sensoperception (hallucinations), emotions (appear increasingly deteriorated), willpower (initiative is lost), attention (more difficulty in paying attention) and personality deteriorates.

Since the 80s there have been great advances in understanding the origin of this disorder. In the brains of those with schizophrenia very subtle variations have been found – a very small decrease in the volume of the frontal cortex region (responsible for thought), in the limbic system region (responsible for emotions). Studies reveal that these alterations had been produced in early stages of intrauterine life. As a result, many studies, not only anatomopathological, but also with neuroimage techniques, genetics, etc., have been developed. For the future of this research an interdisciplinary approach is required to study the etiology, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of the disorder.

Irati Kortabitarte | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Researchers identify key step in viral replication
13.03.2018 | University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

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: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

A new kind of quantum bits in two dimensions

19.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Scientists have a new way to gauge the growth of nanowires

19.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>