April 09, 2006

Research: Schizophrenia chemical flaw clue

Read more... Schizophrenia Biology

The BBC news reports that a research team out of the UK's Institute of Psychiatry (IoP) carried out hi-tech brain scans and have reported that a failure in the chemical messaging system in the brain has been identified in people with schizophrenia.

The BBC reports that:

The IoP researchers, working with colleagues from University College London, used a scanning technique called single photon emission tomography (SPET).

They compared brains in 13 healthy people with five people with untreated schizophrenia and another 16 who were on medication for the condition.

When the communication system in the brain works properly, neurons talk to each other by sending out branches.

These branches connect at a junction where the chemical glutamate acts as a key to unlock a barrier - a chemical called NDMA receptor - and allow the message through.

A failure in this system leads to poor connections between areas of the brain that need to talk to each other. ...

The study showed people with schizophrenia had fewer successful "dockings" in the left hippocampus area in the brain - an area known to be involved in learning, perception and memory - than healthy people.

Read the full story


Very interesting!

Posted by: CopperKettle at April 10, 2006 08:09 AM

The idea that schizophrenia is 'much more than a brain disease' and birth trauma and poverty to be factors, is opinion and nothing more. This is often suggested on the same grounds that any disease is suggested to be 'multifactorial': because the rates of inheritance do not follow mendelian genetic pattersn. That is not proof that it is caused by poverty or birth trauma. When identical twins raised in separate homes get the illness at a startlingly similar rate, and when so much other research does not validate the idea that poverty and birth trauma are causal, it must remain an opinion and an opinion alone, until amply proven otherwise. Schizophrenics may be poor because the illness interferes with vocational training and schooling, not because poverty causes it - studies have even shown 'social drift' downward occurs in the schizophrenic person's generation, not before (the parents are usually in a different economic class than their adult schizophrenic child). Schizophrenics are not found in all studies to have more birth trauma, and I know plenty of people who had no obstetric problems and have this illness. To loudly say that this disease is caused by poverty and 'other factors' when the cause is still unknown - is irresponsible as well as dangerous...having been told this, a friend of mine decided to kill his father. How would that have turned out if he had been told, 'it's an illness, and we don't know the cause - but that doesn't matter to us, we love you all the same'. This focusing on the cause and claiming to know what causes it is irresponsible. We do NOT know what causes it.

Posted by: slc at April 10, 2006 09:23 AM


is there a place were we could read more about this research? This sounds very promissing. Is this the first time that SPET method was used to investigate causes of scz?

Posted by: kattie at April 11, 2006 11:51 PM

keep researching.i agree very intresting.

Posted by: becky at April 14, 2006 11:45 AM

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