Advertisements

We're a little crazy, about science!

Posts tagged “Schizophrenia

Exercise can tackle symptoms of schizophrenia

schizophrenia advertisement

schizophrenia advertisement

Aerobic exercise can significantly help people coping with the long-term mental health condition schizophrenia, according to a new study. Through combining data from 10 independent clinical trials with a total of 385 patients with schizophrenia, Joseph Firth found that around 12 weeks of aerobic exercise training can significant improve patients’ brain functioning.

(more…)

Advertisements

Researchers temporarily turn off brain area to better understand function

parts of the brain

parts of the brain

Capitalizing on experimental genetic techniques, researchers have demonstrated that temporarily turning off an area of the brain changes patterns of activity across much of the remaining brain. The research suggests that alterations in the functional connectivity of the brain in humans may be used to determine the sites of pathology in complex disorders such as schizophrenia and autism.

(more…)


“Shocking” new role of the immune system: Controlling social interaction

social interaction today
social interaction today

Image credit goes to: The awkward Yeti

In a startling discovery that raises fundamental questions about human behavior, researchers have determined that the immune system directly affects – and even controls – creatures’ social behavior, such as their desire to interact with others. So could immune system problems contribute to an inability to have normal social interactions?

(more…)


Schizophrenia: The brain has the ability to rescue itself

schizophrenia

schizophrenia

A team of scientists have shown that the brains of patients with schizophrenia have the capacity to reorganize and fight the illness. This is the first time that imaging data has been used to show that our brains may have the ability to reverse the effects of schizophrenia.

(more…)


Origin of synaptic pruning process linked to learning, autism and schizophrenia identified

synaptic pruning

synaptic pruning

Vaccines don’t cause autism, but because the brain is so complex, we still don’t know how much of it works so figuring out the real causes (as in more than one) of autism has been slow going. Well, researchers have identified a brain receptor that appears to initiate adolescent synaptic pruning, a process believed necessary for learning, but in this case it is one that appears to go awry in both autism and schizophrenia.

(more…)


The brains of patients with schizophrenia vary depending on the type of schizophrenia

Schizophrenia art

I have a friend who lost an eye to his brother. Yes, you read that correctly, his brother tried to kill him and in the process he lost his eye. I’ve told this story before, but whenever new schizophrenia research comes out I feel the need to tell it again. While he has forgiven his brother (partly because not long after, he was diagnosed as schizophrenic), he will not be able to see him again until he is released from prison. A tragedy that could’ve been avoided had he been diagnosed sooner. Sadly now that he is treated, most days, you wouldn’t know he’s schizophrenic.

(more…)


Schizophrenia symptoms linked to features of brain’s anatomy?

Schizophrenia symptoms linked to features of brain's anatomy?

Using advanced brain imaging, researchers have matched certain behavioral symptoms of schizophrenia to features of the brain’s anatomy. The findings, at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, could be a step toward improving diagnosis and treatment of schizophrenia.

(more…)


Do antipsychotic medications affect cortical thinning?

Do antipsychotic medications affect cortical thinning?

People diagnosed with schizophrenia critically rely upon treatment with antipsychotic medications to manage their symptoms and help them function at home and in the workplace. But despite their benefits, antipsychotic medications might also have some negative effects on brain structure or function when taken for long periods of time.

(more…)


Not “just in your head,” brain networks differ among those with severe schizophrenia

schizophrenia

The brain is plastic, it’s how we grow, it’s how we adapt, it is quite literally how we survive. This can unfortunately be to our detriment and new research shows that people with a severe form of schizophrenia have major differences in their brain networks compared to others with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and healthy individuals. So while it may be true, that it is all be in your head, it isn’t how people usually mean it.

(more…)


Not “just” crazy – Some psychoses caused by autoimmunity

schitzophrena

Antibodies defend the body against bacterial, viral, and other invaders. But sometimes the body makes antibodies that attack healthy cells. In these cases, autoimmune disorders develop. Immune abnormalities in patients with psychosis have been recognized for over a century, but it has been only relatively recently that scientists have identified specific immune mechanisms that seem to directly produce symptoms of psychosis, including hallucinations and delusions. In other words, some forms of psychoses might just be an autoimmune disorder.

(more…)


The Genetic Roots of Schizophrenia

schizophrenia

I have a friend who lost an eye — not in a war zone like you might suspect given my background — but to his brother. Yes, you read that correctly, his brother tried to kill him and in the process he lost his eye. I’ve told this story before, but whenever new schizophrenia research comes out I feel the need to tell it again. While he has forgiven his brother (partly because not long after, he was diagnosed as schizophrenic), he will not be able to see him again until he is released from prison. A tragedy that could’ve been avoided had he been diagnosed sooner.

(more…)


The Origami Brain and a new marker for Schizophrenia

brain

Anyone who has seen pictures or models of the human brain (like the one above) is aware that the outside layer, or cortex, of the brain is folded in an intricate pattern of “hills”, called gyri, and “valleys”, called sulci which give the brain it’s distinctive look. It turns out that the patterns of cortical folding are largely consistent across healthy humans, broadly speaking. However, disturbances in cortical folding patterns suggest deeper disturbances in brain structure and function.

(more…)


Schizophrenia and the Twilight Zone

twilight zone

You are now entering the Twilight Zone. You may remember the television show, with it’s odd twists and turns, but for people with schizophrenia it means something just a little different. It’s unfortunate, but people with schizophrenia struggle to turn goals into actions, this sort of “twilight zone” has been seen in patients, however the cause was unknown. Now, according to new research, the brain structures governing desire and emotion are less active and fail to pass goal-directed messages to cortical regions affecting human decision-making.

(more…)


When Crazy becomes a Crime

mental-illness

My friend has a glass eye, you would never notice and unless you knew the story you might not think anything of it. His older brother did it. Yes, you read that correctly, in a schizophrenic rage he gouged out his eye and almost killed him. He never held what happened against his older brother, he was sick, how could he? At least that was his logic. The courts didn’t agree, he would not be allowed to visit his brother while he resided in prison, even ten years [and several appeals] after the fact. Unfortunately he isn’t alone, new research has linked tighter Medicaid policies governing antipsychotic drugs with increased incarceration rates for schizophrenic individuals.

(more…)


Schizophrenia and Autism: A New Connection

AutismAutism and Schizophrenia, at first glance there probably isn’t a whole lot in common other than they are disorders that fall in that lovely book the DCM-5. The brain is a complex thing, so I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that certain forms of Autism and Schizophrenia [don’t ask me why I capitalize them, I don’t know] share a link in what at first glance seems to be an unlikely culprit.

(more…)


Genetics and Schizophrenia

Light and Dark

Like most mental illness, schizophrenia sucks. Once a friend of mine lost an eye to his schizophrenic brother during a serious episode. That sort of thing will tear a family apart and while he harbors no ill will towards his brother, because the state pressed charges [and he was the defendant] they cannot see each other while he is in prison. When it is not so severe, you would never know he could do something like that, schizophrenia sucks.

(more…)