Researchers notice self repair clues in Schizophrenia patients brain – NH Voice

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An international team of scientists has come across an early sign of hope for patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, a mental disorder that affects the way a person thinks, acts and feels.

The team led by Lena Palaniyappan of London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) used Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and conducted a covariance analysis to record brain tissues’ increase in nearly 100 patients with schizophrenia and compared the data with those of 83 people without the disease.

The condition in question is marked by the patient’s inability to differentiate between the right and wrong. Current treatments for this degenerative illness are mostly focused on trimming down and managing symptoms rather than reversing the condition.

But the new study showed that while schizophrenia is typically linked to a reduction in brain tissue volume, certain regions of the patient’s brains showed a subtle rise in tissue over time. The findings suggested that in terms of gray matter volume, the patients’ brains become more “normal” the longer that they have the condition.

Sharing the findings, the scientists reported, “Within the patient group … while temporo-limbic and fronto-parietal regions showed reduced thickness, the occipital cortex showed increased thickness, especially in those with a long-standing illness.”

The findings of the research appeared in a recent edition of the journal Psychology Medicine.

“The study followed 98 patients with schizophrenia and compared them to 83 patients without schizophrenia. The team used Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and a sophisticated approach called covariance analysis to record the amount of brain tissue increase. Due to the subtlety and the distributed nature of increase, this had not been demonstrated in patients before now,” according to a news report published by Science Daily.

According to Lawson Health Research Institute’s Dr. Lena Palaniyappan, there is an overarching feeling that curing people with a severe mental illness, such as schizophrenia is not possible. “Even the state-of-art frontline treatments aim merely for a reduction rather than a reversal of the cognitive and functional deficits caused by the illness,” says Dr. Palaniyappan, who is the Medical Director at the Prevention & Early Intervention Program for Psychoses (PEPP) at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC).

This comes from a long-standing notion that schizophrenia is a degenerative illness, with the seeds of damage sown very early during the course of brain development. “Our results highlight that despite the severity of tissue damage, the brain of a patient with schizophrenia is constantly attempting to reorganize itself, possibly to rescue itself or limit the damage,” says Dr. Palaniyappan.

According to a report in Tech Times by Rhodi Lee, “Schizophrenia, a mental disorder that influences how a person thinks, acts and feels, currently does not have a cure, but the findings of a new study using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), offers hope to patients affected by the condition.”

For their research published in the Psychology Medicine journal on May 26, Lena Palaniyappan from London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) used MRI and a covariance analysis to record the increase of brain tissue in 98 patients with schizophrenia and compared the results with those of 83 without the disease.

Schizophrenia, a condition marked by the inability to distinguish between what is right and what is wrong, is believed to be a degenerative illness. Current treatments for schizophrenic patients are mostly focused on reducing and managing symptoms rather than reversing the condition.

A study published earlier in May suggested that women who smoke during pregnancy place their offspring at increased risk of developing schizophrenia. Refugees have also been shown to be at elevated risk for the disease, along with other psychotic illnesses.

A report published in UPI informed, “Following 98 patients with schizophrenia and 83 without, the team used MRI technology and a special method called “covariance analysis,” to distinguish the increase of brain tissue. This is the first time such a method has been used to prove the brain’s ability to reverse the illness’ effects, and opens doors to possible cures.”

“Even the state-of-art frontline treatments aim merely for a reduction rather than a reversal of the cognitive and functional deficits caused by the illness,” said research team member Dr. Lena Palaniyappan, Medical Director at the Prevention & Early Intervention Program for Psychoses at London Science Centre.

“These findings are important not only because of their novelty and the rigor of the study, but because they point the way to the development of targeted treatments that potentially could better address some of the core pathology in schizophrenia,” explains Dr. Jeffrey Reiss, another member of the research team from the London health Sciences Centre.

Researchers notice self repair clues in Schizophrenia patients brain – NH Voice