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July 31, 2007
"Voices" in Schizophrenia Linked to Voice Processing Area of Brain
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For the first time, researchers using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have found both structural and functional abnormalities in specific brain regions of patients who have schizophrenia and who experience chronic auditory hallucinations, according to a study published in the August issue of Radiology.
"The results showed abnormalities in specific areas of the brain associated with the capacity to process human voices," said lead author, Luis Martí-Bonmatí, M.D., Ph.D., chief of magnetic resonance in the Department of Radiology at Dr. Peset University Hospital in Valencia, Spain.
"Developing a clear understanding of the pathological abnormalities associated with schizophrenia is one of the greatest challenges in psychiatry," Dr. Martí-Bonmatí said. "Using MRI to mark brain regions that are affected in both structure and function will help pinpoint specific abnormalities associated with the disorder and ultimately enable more effective treatment."
The researchers studied 31 right-handed men, 21 with schizophrenia who suffered from persistent auditory hallucinations and 10 healthy controls. Morphological MR images were acquired to show abnormalities in brain structure while functional MRI was used to gauge brain response to various emotional and neutral stimuli.
Among the schizophrenic patients, the results showed functional abnormalities and corresponding gray matter deficits in several brain regions associated with regulating emotion and processing human voices.
"We hope that by evaluating combined structural and functional abnormalities in the brains of these patients, we may uncover biological markers to find candidates for specific treatments and better monitor patient response to those treatments," Dr. Martí-Bonmatí said.
Press/marketing release source: Radiology
Posted by szadmin at July 31, 2007 08:11 AM
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