Imaging techniques can be used to detect the development of psychosis in the brains of high-risk patients at an early stage, as reported by researchers from the University of Basel and Western University in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.
Detecting psychosis early increases the chances of effective treatment. Despite advances in diagnosis, however, it has previously not been possible to examine young people with initial psychotic symptoms and reliably say who will develop acute psychosis and who will not.
It has long been supposed that the condition is caused by disturbed communication between various groups of nerve cells. Modern imaging techniques have made it possible to make these connections between regions of the brain visible.
Researchers from the University of Basel have now examined the question of whether changes in the anatomical structure of brain networks can already be detected in people with an increased risk of psychosis. The study was carried out in collaboration with scientists from the Psychiatric University Clinics Basel, Western University and Lawson Health Research Institute in Ontario, Canada.
Focus on cortical folding
The researchers, led by Drs André Schmidt and Lena Palaniyappan, focused on cortical folding, known as gyrification: they examined how the folds in various regions of the brain interact with each other, and whether this interaction is impaired in high-risk patients.
They also tested how precisely they could use the cortical connectivity to predict which high-risk patients would suffer from psychosis and which would not.
For their study, the researchers examined 44 healthy control subjects, 38 patients with first-episode psychosis, and 79 people with an increased risk of psychosis, of which 16 later developed fully-formed psychosis. They reconstructed the brain’s nerve pathways using magnetic resonance imaging and methods from mathematical graph theory, with which they described a network of nodes.
The results show that in comparison to the healthy control group, the folding in individual regions of the brain in patients with an initial psychotic episode and those with a later psychosis transition showed reduced integration and increased segregation.
The analysis also showed that this process enabled predictions to be made with more than 80% accuracy about which patients would later suffer from psychosis and which would not.
Biomarker for clinical diagnosis
“Our results indicate that this type of network analysis could significantly improve individual risk prognoses,” says André Schmidt, who led the project. “Future longitudinal studies with larger samples are now needed to validate the prognostic accuracy of this measurement.”
Tushar Das, Stefan Borgwardt, Daniel J. Hauke, Fabienne Harrisberger, Undine E. Lang, Anita Riecher-Rössler, Lena Palaniyappan, André Schmidt
Disorganized Gyrification Network Properties During the Transition to Psychosis
JAMA Psychiatry (2018), doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.0391
Dr. André Schmidt, University of Basel / University Psychiatric Clinics Basel, tel. +41 61 325 59 29, email: email@example.com
Cornelia Niggli | Universität Basel
Enabling technology in cell-based therapies: Scale-up, scale-out or program in-place
23.07.2018 | SLAS (Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening)
FAU researchers identify Parkinson's disease as a possible autoimmune disease
23.07.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.
The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
23.07.2018 | Health and Medicine
23.07.2018 | Earth Sciences
23.07.2018 | Science Education