Late-Onset Schizophrenia Found to be Distinct Condition

March 27, 2002

Late-Onset Schizophrenia Found to be Distinct Condition; Paraphrenia Affects Primarily Women

A condition previously considered late-onset schizophrenia has been found, in fact, to be a distinct condition that disables the communication superhighway, researchers said.
Paraphrenia is a condition, affecting primarily women, in which the cellular skeleton of brain cells involved in social perspective and emotion is weakened. This happens when a key structural protein called tau falls out of solution, said Dr. Manuel F. Casanova, neurologist and neuropathologist at the Medical College of Georgia and lead author on the research published in the March issue of the journal Acta Neuropathologica. Dr. Casanova also will present the research at the April 13-20 annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology.

Prior to the findings, little was known about the pathology of paraphrenia or schizophrenia, Dr. Casanova said. And, despite some common symptoms, scientists and clinicians alike have speculated that the two had glaring differences as well, such as the fact that schizophrenia typically gets worse and paraphrenia typically does not.



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